Donovan Mitchell

While Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge claimed this week that the team’s core players “didn’t really believe in each other,” Donovan Mitchell disagrees. Mitchell, who was traded to the Cavaliers on September 1 and arrived in Cleveland on Wednesday, told on that same day that he and the team believed in each other.

“Keep [Rudy Gobert] and don’t trade him at the end of the season, I advised. Come on, let’s work this out. And that did not occur. Being around the team for the past six months, I strongly disagree with his assessment. But, you know, in the end, that’s his choice.”

Ainge, hired in December, sent Gobert to the Timberwolves in a trade centered on draft picks in July. He then sent Mitchell to the Cavaliers on September 1 along with defensive specialist Royce O’Neale.

The Cavaliers were one of the clubs Mitchell knew had made an offer for him, but he was nonetheless taken aback when he was shipped there instead of to his hometown team, the New York Knicks. Mitchell claimed that he had been encouraged to believe he was close to being a Knick in the days leading up to the agreement.

“Very near,” Mitchell added. “I won’t say more than that I know a little bit more than others but absolutely very close.” When I was moved to the Cavaliers, I couldn’t help but be ecstatic, but we were so close to the Knicks.

Donovan Mitchell

The Knicks and the Jazz were unable to reach an agreement on a deal, so Cavs president Koby Altman reopened negotiations with the Jazz in late August. It took less than 48 hours for Altman and Jazz general manager Justin Zanik,

who together have negotiated five trades in the past five seasons, to put together the final transaction. In order to acquire Mitchell, the Cavaliers gave up three unprotected first-round picks, two pick swaps, and three young players.

Altman remarked, “Our connection with Utah is excellent.” “We did nothing much besides waiting around for a while. Even when they made the decision to change course (away from the Knicks), we were there to support them.”

More than 200 fans greeted Mitchell as he landed at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland at 9 a.m. Wednesday, along with Cavs executives. The next day, he participated in an informal workout with his local teammates ahead of the commencement of training camp. All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen and runner-up Rookie of the Year Evan Mobley all earned court time with Mitchell.

Mitchell, who has trained with Garland this summer, believes that together they “could truly produce something great.” I can’t wait to suit up for this squad, represent this city, play alongside these guys, and go out there and win.

Read More: Santiago Arias a Free Agent Had Been Speculated to Transfer Manchester United!

Career

Mitchell, now an NBA all-star for the second year in a row, will serve as a reserve for the West in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. Mitchell suffered an ankle sprain in the middle of April against the Indiana Pacers, which would keep him out of action for the rest of the regular season. Nevertheless, the Jazz finished with the NBA’s top seed, giving them home-court advantage throughout the entire postseason for the first time since 1997-98.

In the First Round, Utah dispatched the Memphis Grizzlies in five games. In the Conference Semifinals, Utah met the Los Angeles Clippers, and in Game 1, Mitchell scored 45 points in a 112-109 Utah triumph. After scoring 32 points in Game 1, he went on to score 37 as Utah defeated the Clippers 117-111 to take a commanding 2-0 series.

Read More: Donovan Mitchell Trade: What Are Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz Stand to Gain and Lose!

Mitchell, who entered Game 6 as a major question mark due to an ankle ailment, had a big game, finishing with 39 points, nine boards, and nine assists on 12-of-27 shooting (9-of-15 from deep). After losing four in a row against the Clippers, the Jazz was eliminated from playoff contention.

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