In exchange for Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Collin Sexton.
It is not yet the summer of 2022 for the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors’ stance couldn’t be any clearer: It’s not their time. On Thursday, the Utah Jazz’s relationship with Donovan Mitchell marked the second major off-season trading domino to fall in what turned out to be one of the NBA’s longest summers in recent memory. The other was the Kevin Durant trade that never materialized.
The Jazz president Danny Ainge is probably trying to find a market for Mitchell other than the New York Knicks, his preferred destination, to the degree that Toronto is a potential landing site for the Jazz star.
Being the most thrilled team to sign the Westchester County native
The Cleveland Cavaliers stepped up and swapped a starter for Lauri Markkanen, a former starter and 20-point per game scorer in Collin Sexton (who signed with the Jazz for $72 million over four years while recovering from an ACL injury), their first-round pick Ochai Agbaji in 2022, three future unprotected firsts, and two future pick swaps. The Knicks eventually declined to make the kind of offer Ainge was looking for.
The Cavaliers are by definition all-in.
It’s difficult to find an issue with the Cavaliers seeking to increase their talent pool given that Cleveland has seldom been a destination for free players who aren’t named LeBron James.
Cleveland had a season in which they floated in the top four of the Eastern Conference before the all-star break and fell home to a 9-15 finish due to injuries. The question is how good Cleveland can get going forward.
The Rico Hines off-season schedule
Similarly, one of those tests that can only be performed across seasons as opposed to moments is whether the Raptors would be prudent to hold onto their chips this summer rather than making a large gamble on Durant or even Mitchell.
However, the Raptors’ decision to remain standing is significant thus far because it indicates that Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster see greater potential in the current team given that they have had a somewhat unexpected 48-win season.
Barnes is a stronger, more forceful, and better shooter than the superb rookie who checked off every requirement for a future star in his 20-year season last year, if the video clips of Rico Hines’ offseason runs in Los Angeles are to be believed.
In one of these seasons, OG Anunoby ought to play all 70 games without missing a beat.
The rotation now has the kind of shooting threat that was sorely lacking last season thanks to the arrival of free agent Otto Porter.