The Donovan Mitchell trade is official. Here’s what Ryan Smith, Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik said about it
The deal between the Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers was formally announced Thursday afternoon after the completion of physicals.
Almost exactly a week after news leaked that the Utah Jazz were trading Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the deal was formally announced by the Jazz on Thursday afternoon after the completion of physicals.
Here is what Jazz owner Ryan Smith, CEO Danny Ainge and general manager Justin Zanik said in news release statements about the deal, which sees Utah acquire Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji, along with three future first-round picks and two pick swaps in exchange for Mitchell.
“The Jazz had so many great moments with Donovan over the past five years as he developed into a perennial All-Star,” Smith said. “But just as important was the lasting impact he made in Utah.
“He is an amazing human and touched the lives of so many through his engagement in the community. Our entire organization wishes him every success in his future. Once a Jazzman, always a Jazzman.”
Ainge offered some analysis of why he and the rest of the front office made the deal.
“It was clear that in order to optimize our opportunity to create a team that could truly contend and establish sustained success, we needed to transition our roster. In trading Rudy (Gobert) and now Donovan, it was a rare opportunity to maximize our ability to get quality talent and picks to best position us moving forward.
“We have a plan in place to help us assemble the championship team our fans deserve. It will take time to craft our roster. We all understand the work ahead and are committed to our vision.”
Zanik gave a small preview of what to expect out of Sexton, Markkanen and Agbaji.
“Ochai, Lauri and Collin are exciting young players, and we’re thrilled to add them to our roster. We believe that they fit the Jazz culture and hard-nosed, competitive brand of basketball we’ve built here in Utah.
“They give us versatility and athleticism on both ends of the floor as we grow toward the future. We look forward to our fans getting to know them.”
The Jazz will open training camp in just 18 days, even as questions still remain regarding the futures of veterans such as Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson.