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Cavaliers trade Ochai Agbaji, a rookie from Nigeria, to Utah Jazz

Ochai Agbaji

The Cleveland Cavaliers have transferred Ochai Agbaji, a rookie in the NBA from Nigeria, to the Utah Jazz in exchange for three-time all-star Donovan Mitchell.

Additionally, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks, and two pick swaps are being given to the Jazz.

Following the offseason trades of star center Rudy Gobert and now Mitchell, Utah currently has thirteen first-round picks that are unprotected or only lightly protected through 2029 and two first-round picks in 2022.

The 22-year-old Agbaji, whose father is an immigrant from Nigeria, was selected by Cleveland with the 14th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and he signed a standard rookie deal for $4.68 million per season over four years in early July.

He spent four seasons at the University of Kansas, where he became better each time. Eventually, after helping the Jayhawks win their first championship since 2008, he was awarded the most outstanding player in the NCAA final four.

As a senior at the University of Kansas, Ochai Agbaji averaged 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 41% from 3-point range, according to nba.com.

In addition, he was named Big XII Player of the Year and unanimous first-team All-American.

Ochai Agbaji made a strong first impression for the Cavaliers during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July, scoring 16 points in the team’s 99-90 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on his debut.

He maintained his stellar performance in the NBA Summer League against the Charlotte Hornets, scoring 24 points on 7-of-13 field goal and 4-of-8 three-point shooting.

Ochai Agbaji, who was considered by NBA scouts to be prepared to contribute right away in his rookie season, will now try to continue his career in Utah with Udoka Azubuike, a fellow Nigerian who graduated from the University of Kansas.

The longest active streak in the western conference belongs to Utah, who have made the playoffs each of the last six seasons, however they have never advanced past the second round.


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