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Donovan Mitchell pushes Cavs’ climb in contender pecking order

Apr 25, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz in game five of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Mitchell moving to Cleveland created a current with oddsmakers who now recognize the Cavaliers as something closer to contenders in 2022-23.

Acquired from the Utah Jazz, Mitchell has All-Star credentials and makes for a stellar backcourt sidekick for another All-Star, Darius Garland.

Books reacted instantly to the move on Thursday, with PointsBet lifting the Cavaliers’ 2022-23 NBA title odds from +8000 to +3300 and DraftKings elevated Cleveland from 55-1 to 30-1 in the immediate aftermath of the news breaking.

The Cavaliers and Bulls are -110 to participate in the Eastern Conference play-in game in futures odds released by DraftKings.

Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and rookie Ochai Agbaji and three unprotected first-round picks go to the Jazz in the reported deal. Utah is downgraded dramatically in an offseason that looks a lot like a teardown by second-year team president Danny Ainge.

Ainge parted ways with head coach Quin Snyder — technically, Snyder’s contract wasn’t renewed — and traded Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

BetMGM removed the Cavaliers from the futures bets market on Thursday but previously listed Cleveland at +6600.

DraftKings dropped the Jazz from +20000 to +40000 without Mitchell.

–Field Level Media