Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers emerged as an exciting young team and made their presence known by trying to secure a playoff spot. Led by their two All-Stars, Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland, and youngster Evan Mobley, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a 44-38 record. They did not make it out of the play-in tournament, though, but made an interesting move to assure that they will next season.
In one of the more surprising trades this offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell. With the addition of Mitchell, Cleveland became a much stronger team and will make some noise in the East, so let’s look at three reasons why the Cavaliers made the right choice with this trade.
Reason #1: Donovan Mitchell fits the Cleveland Cavaliers’ timeline.
By adding Mitchell to their team, the Cavaliers rounded out their young roster by adding a third All-Star. Now, they have a core made up of 26-year-old Mitchell, 24-year-old Jarrett Allen, 22-year-old Darius Garland, and 21-year-old Evan Mobley.
Besides his talent, his age is what makes Mitchell such a good fit for Cleveland. He fits into their timeline and championship window, but also offers the team some experience that the other young stars still need to gain. Whereas most of the Cavaliers’ roster has not been in a playoff game yet, Mitchell has averaged 28.3 points in 39 playoff games so far. This is actually the seventh-best playoff average in league history.
Despite that, Mitchell has had a somewhat disappointing playoff history with Utah. Now, he is part of a talented young core with other stars to share the scoring burden. Utah was a good team but never destined to make it to the conference finals. In Cleveland, Mitchell finally has a real chance to make it past the second round and has a brighter future than he had in Utah.
All of Cleveland’s four young stars are under contract for several years, and over that time they will get a taste of winning. They may not be contenders just yet, but they are a playoff team. There are still better teams in the East, like the Milwaukee Bucks, for example, but with some time, Cleveland has the potential to beat them and take the conference by storm.