When trades happen in sports, people almost immediately try to identify the “winners” and “losers” in the deal, and that analysis often continues far into the future.
The Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves are all only three games into new chapters in their franchises after the Jazz swung blockbuster trades to send Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland and Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in the summer, but it’s fair to say all three teams are “winning” the deals right now, a sign of a good trade.
The Jazz, to begin, are off to an unexpected 3-0 start, and multiple players from the two deals are contributing at a high level.
From the Mitchell trade, Lauri Markkanen has been outstanding, and Collin Sexton has been very good.
From the Gobert trade, Jarred Vanderbilt has brought a unique energy and defensive versatility, Walker Kessler is playing incredibly well for a rookie and Malik Beasley is proving to be a very solid scorer.
As for the Cavaliers (2-1), all Mitchell has done so far is make some NBA history. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Mitchell is the first player ever to record 100 points and 20 assists in his first three games with a team (he is at exactly 100 points and 21 assists).
Mitchell’s average of 33.3 points per game so far is tied for fifth in the NBA with Stephen Curry, and his 7 assists per game average is tied for 13th with four others.
And for the Timberwolves (2-1), Gobert is leading the league in rebounds per game by a wide margin. Gobert is averaging a whopping 18 boards per contest, with second-place Joel Embiid way back at 13.3.
According to Basketball Reference, Gobert’s 54 rebounds are the most through a player’s first three games with a new team since 1996, when Charles Barkley had 65 with the Houston Rockets.