The Utah Jazz may not benefit as much from another Donovan Mitchell trade

The Utah Jazz may not get such high picks from the Cleveland Cavaliers after all.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Utah Jazz
Cleveland Cavaliers v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz traded away Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the hope that Mitchell would eventually leave the Cavaliers before the Jazz started collecting on the draft picks. The first picks don't start conveying until 2025, next summer. Then they get their 2027 and 2029 picks, as well as having the right to swap places with the Cavs in 2026, depending on who has the higher pick.

To say the Jazz were optimistic that the Cavs wouldn't keep Mitchell long-term was an understatement. While we don't know for sure, one could make the argument that the Jazz sent Mitchell to Cleveland knowing full well that Mitchell would eventually leave the Cavs in free agency.

Except, things are getting interesting for the Cavs. They're the second-best team in the Eastern Conference as of the writing, only slightly behind the Boston Celtics. The Cavs have surrounded Mitchell with guys like Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland and the team is proving themselves a genuine contender this season.

Despite what rival execs are leaking, there's no certainty that Mitchell is gone when his contract is over. Especially if the Cavs have a truly impressive performance in the playoffs this season. We've seen guys surprise us before, electing to stay in a place where they're finding success as opposed to chasing the big spotlight in other cities.

Since Mitchell started his ascent to stardom, the conversation has been about him going to the New York Knicks, his childhood favorite team. Yet, the Cavs are in a great place right now and despite what execs want to say, the most likely thing every NBA player truly wants, at the end of the day, is to win a championship. If the Cavs give Mitchell a better chance of doing just that, then why wouldn't Mitchell stay?

Especially if someone like LeBron James ends up returning to the team that launched his career in the summer. Surely, the return of James to Cleveland would be more than enough to keep Mitchell in Cleveland, and possibly with a brand new contract to boot.

If that does happen, the future of those picks may not be as great as once hoped.