Earlier this offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised the entire NBA world when they executed a trade for star guard Donovan Mitchell.
One of the primary reasons why the move was so surprising is because the New York Knicks were seen as the heavy favorites to land Mitchell up until the trade was done. Had the Knicks got a deal done, chances are very good that youngster RJ Barrett would have been included in the deal.
Instead, the Jazz opted for a deal from the Cavs headlined by guard Collin Sexton and a handful of future draft picks and pick swaps.
In an interesting report, it has recently come to light that the Jazz were more interested in the value of signing Sexton to a long-term deal rather than what they would have had to sign Barrett for had they traded for him.
“There are different views about how the league views RJ Barrett,” Stefan Bondy said during a recent episode of HoopsHype’s podcast. “My understanding is the Jazz valued the contract that they got with Collin Sexton more than what they would’ve had to pay Barrett. That was an important part of the trade negotiations.”
There’s no question that the Jazz got a team-friendly deal in the sign-and-trade for Sexton. The talented guard was given a four-year deal worth about $72 million.
As for Barrett, he ended up getting a four-year, $107 million extension from the Knicks when trade talks between the Jazz and Knicks broke down earlier this offseason.
Given the discrepancy of the value of both contracts, it makes perfect sense why the rebuilding Jazz would be more interested in the kind of deal that Sexton got.
First off, it gives the Jazz more financial flexibility in the years to come. Moreover, if Sexton performs at a high level, the Jazz could easily trade him away for a lot of value.
Though Barrett has shown a lot of promise as a young player, giving a player that type of contract before his fourth year in the league is certainly a risky move.
As for Sexton, he will surely look to prove that he deserves every cent of his new contract. Sexton had reportedly previously expressed a desire to land a contract that paid him around $20 million per year. While he didn’t quite get to that amount, he got relatively close.