Butler trade sets the stage for looming free agency

Rachel Hardy
June 26, 2017

Donovan Mitchell (Louisville) is introduced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number thirteen overall pick to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center.

For the Nuggets, moving back 11 spots in the draft netted them Lyles, the 12th overall pick from 2015. In exchange, the Jazz receive the No. 13 pick to select Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell.

He played in 80 games, started in nearly half of them, and shot the ball well, averaging 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

This story will be updated. "I think with our length, our youth and our size, we'll be able to be one of the better teams in the league on the defensive end once everyone buys in". I feel like my play fits with their team very well. "It was a city and a team that I was looking forward to hopefully getting a chance to play for".

Mitchell gives the Utah backcourt a boost in the athleticism department, and with both George Hill and Shelvin Mack due to become unrestricted free agents, there's a need for more perimeter options in Utah.

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Lyles (6-10, 245, Kentucky) appeared in 151 games (37 starts) in his two seasons with Utah, averaging 6.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game with the Jazz.

Lydon led Syracuse in rebounding (8.6 per game) and ranked second in scoring (13.2 points per game) last season and brings another physical presence to the Nuggets' front court.

"I'm a hard-nosed and gritty defender", Mitchell said.

"We'll see about (his) readiness", Lindsey said.

Previously, teams would either have to take a gamble on second-round players (or free agents) and sign them to a partially guaranteed contract or send them to Europe in a draft-and-stash scenario to preserve their National Basketball Association rights.

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