After completing the Mitchell trade, the Cavaliers‘ backcourt has been upgraded. After all, he is a three-time All-Star and one of the league’s strongest offensive organizers. When he played for the Jazz, his team’s offensive performance in the regular season ranked among the top of the league. After joining the Cavaliers, can he continue to show his offensive output in the Jazz?
Before the Cavaliers and Jazz completed the Mitchell trade, there were many teams bidding for Mitchell, and most were more likely to get Mitchell than the Cavaliers. since LeBron James (LBJ) left the team for the second time in 2018, the Cavaliers have not been the focus of the league for the past four years, so few predicted that it would be a small market and not high-profile. The Cavaliers, who announced their bid for Mitchell, became the main protagonists of the deal.
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Knight paid a huge price to get Mitchell
Even though the Cavaliers have not been the most vocal bidder for Mitchell in the past few months, this team needs Mitchell more than any other team, and the huge price the Cavaliers paid to get Mitchell is as follows.
Players: Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, who was drafted 14th overall in the first round this year
Draft picks: three unprotected first-round picks, two first-round pick swap rights
The Cavaliers had to pay a huge price to acquire Mitchell, and with a successful net, the Cavaliers will have a superstar guard with quickness and range to lead the team. Other teams looking to acquire Mitchell may still be able to find some guard solutions on the market, but they won’t be able to find a guard with the same offensive impact as Mitchell.
Mitchell is not only an irreplaceable offensive player, but he was also known as “Spiderman” for his sticky defense in college and when he first started out. For the Cavaliers, without a backcourt player who can play both offense and defense, the team’s problems will always be there. In February, the Cavaliers also sent Rubio and a protected first-round pick to add Caris LeVert, but he didn’t fully utilize his offensive impact in the second half of last season. Now it seems that the LeVert trade that the Cavaliers completed in February was just the beginning of a rebuilding of the team.
Creating a new backcourt combination that will boast of the league
After completing the Mitchell trade, the Cavaliers’ backcourt has been upgraded. After all, he is a three-time All-Star and one of the league’s strongest offensive organizers. When he played for the Jazz, his team’s offensive performance ranked among the top of the league in the regular season, and after joining the Cavaliers, can he continue to show his offensive and defensive output in the Jazz? Basically, there is no need to worry that he will not fit in the Cavaliers. First of all, he will have a big offensive stage, because the Cavaliers need another offensive leader. As for the defensive end, even without a top interior pairing like Rudy Gobert, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are still quality interior players in the league, so he can still focus on his defensive responsibilities. The small problem the Cavaliers currently have is the lack of a clear wing player. The team lacks players who specialize in carrying the wings because of the short guards and big inside players, but the four current starters of the Knights (Michell, Allen, Mobley, Darius Garland) should be able to complement each other and play a balanced game on both the offensive and defensive ends, so the four-star combination might be able to more or less solve the problem of the lack of wing players.
There is a good chance to see Mitchell and new backcourt partner Garland form a backcourt duo that will cause headaches for opponents. Last season, Garland had a career year (averages: 21.7 points, 8.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds). His experience with Sexton and Rubio has allowed him to grow a lot, and he has a record of being selected for the star game in his third year of career.
Compared to Sexton and Rubio, Mitchell is a much tougher matchup defender, so you can expect Garland to continue to push his limits with Mitchell. In addition, Mitchell can significantly reduce Garland’s time with the ball, so Garland will have more opportunities to run without the ball. At this stage, Mitchell’s strength is definitely better than Sexton’s, so Knight’s already good backcourt combination is directly upgraded to the top of the league. With Mitchell’s organization and explosive scoring ability, the Knights should be able to win more than 50 games next season.
Quality interior lineman to make up for the lack of height in the backcourt
Height may be the disadvantage of the new Cavaliers guard duo (both are about 185 cm tall), which makes other teams want to take advantage of it to break through, but don’t forget that Allen and Mobley are two inside players who rank among the top of the league in defensive ability. Plus, they are willing to work together on defense, so playing with a defender’s lack of height doesn’t always work. Allen and Mobley have shown that they can be a solid interior defensive duo even though they have only played 52 games together.
Looking at the Jazz over the past few years, Mitchell and a quality interior might not be enough to make a run at a championship, but for the Cavaliers, the primary goal for the new season is not to win a championship, but to make the playoffs after a four-year absence. For the past 25 years, the Cavaliers have made the playoffs almost exclusively when they had LeBron James. In fact, compared to the Jazz last season, the Cavaliers don’t have many similarities to the Jazz other than a good interior presence. It’s hard to see the Cavaliers ranking at the top of the league in three-point attempts like the Jazz did the past two seasons.
In the past few seasons, the Jazz would ask other players to space out and build their lineups around Mitchell in order to allow him to cut in. When he came to the Cavaliers, Mitchell had to start using his offensive influence to create space for his teammates. He may be uncomfortable at first playing in a more traditional system and with two long men over 210 cm, but his offensive creativity will certainly open up a whole new path. Offensively, he and his new teammates will need some bonding to find a balance of shooting space and cutting space.
If you see Mitchell not fitting in perfectly early in the season, don’t jump to conclusions. As the season progresses, we’ll see Mitchell and Garland gradually find a balance and offset the team’s weaknesses at small forward by pairing them together. This new guard duo has a pretty good chance of getting the Cavaliers into the playoffs in their first season together.
Knight will get rid of chaos in the next few years
The Cavaliers are a fairly young team, and Mitchell is just about to turn 26, but he’s already a senior compared to his new teammates. Allen is currently 24 years old, while Garland and Mobley are 22 and 21 respectively. The Cavaliers may have given up a lot of players, first-round picks and draft picks in the Mitchell trade, but at the same time managed to build the league’s strongest young team. While the Cavaliers’ record is certainly a major focus in the new season, the Cavaliers’ team should be more concerned with the growth of Mobley and Garland. Mithcell was definitely brought in to see growth in players and records, but player growth is definitely more important than records. No one can say how far the Knights can go in the new season before the game starts, after all, apart from Mitchell, it is still up to the other players, especially Mobley, to make it happen.
For the Cavaliers, the team’s starting lineup is already built for the next few years, unless Mitchell, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2025, decides to leave the roster. The Cavaliers will now have to watch what the team does over the next three or four years to see what Mitchell can do for the team as a whole. With Mitchell as the centerpiece of the team, the team can look at what is needed and what is missing.
Last season, the Knights’ overall offensive performance was not good, but with Mitchell, the disorganized offense should no longer be seen. Mitchell’s arrival will not only bring wins and hope to the Knights’ fans, but will also show the team and the fans that there will be a time when they will come out of the chaos.
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