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Thursday brought some stunning news to the NBA world, as Donovan Mitchell had been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a package that included three unprotected first round picks, a pair of pick swaps, Collin Sexton (on a 4-year, $72 million sign-and-trade), Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji.
After months of rumblings that the Knicks were the heavy frontrunners for Mitchell, it was the Cavs that were willing to pony up the picks to get him and leave the Knicks without a major addition alongside Jalen Brunson this offseason — they did re-sign RJ Barrett, with a hilariously timed release moments after the Mitchell news broke. Him going to Cleveland wasn’t completely out of nowhere, as there were occasional reports about Cleveland’s interest, but at no time did there feel like an imminent deal to send him to the Cavs.
As such, much of the reaction around the league was shock and excitement for the young Cavs, who now have a very fun young core featuring Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. Mitchell was reportedly very excited himself, but there was probably no one who was happier about the Mitchell trade than Vernon Maxwell. Maxwell had a stellar 13-year NBA career, best known for his time with the Rockets that saw him win a pair of titles, but he is now known mostly by those on NBA Twitter as the biggest hater of the Utah Jazz and the state of Utah generally — as evidenced by his legendary pinned tweet.
I'd like 2 apologize Jazz fans that were offended by my tweets. If I knew u guys had internet in Utah I would've never made those tweets.
— Vernon Maxwell (@VernonMaxwell11) March 9, 2017
Maxwell took a victory lap on behalf of Mitchell, while also rubbing it in to Jazz fans that their team will now be dreadful as they enter a full-on rebuild.
Donovan Mitchell Congratulations. You deserve to be around civilization. I must address #TakeNote Nation first. The next three years will be miserable, you guys had it coming.
— Vernon Maxwell (@VernonMaxwell11) September 1, 2022
Mitchell’s public response to the trade will be quite different, as a thank you to the Jazz and the fan base is certainly on its way whenever the news is made official, but Maxwell wasn’t going to miss a chance to kick Utah a bit while they’re down — even if Jazz fans will, at this point, be pretty pleased with the hauls they’ve received for Mitchell and Gobert and feel like they at least have a chance at a quality rebuild.