UTAH JAZZ

Cavs Introduce Mitchell, Says He Expected Knicks Trade

Sep 14, 2022, 2:28 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2022, 11:50 am

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell playing rock paper scissors with a young fan (Photo by Alex Goodle...

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell playing rock paper scissors with a young fan (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – It turns out the media and fans weren’t alone in expecting Donovan Mitchell to end up with the Knicks this summer. The former Utah Jazz guard and New York native said he was surprised he wound up traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mitchell was officially introduced by the Cavs on Wednesday after the trade was announced earlier this month.

The 26-year-old admitted he had also anticipated the Knicks would be the team to complete a trade to bring him home.

“I thought it was New York, I’m not going to lie,” Mitchell told the Cleveland media. “Obviously, who doesn’t want to be home next to their mom?”

Mitchell and his mother Nicole have a close relationship, though he hasn’t shared the same house with her since eighth grade when he left home to attend a boarding school.

However, the three-time All-Star said he was excited about his future with the Cavaliers.

“Once I found out I got traded, what we are going into, that trumped everything for me,” Mitchell stated. “I am truly excited to be here, to be a part of this group, to be a part of this city.”

The Jazz traded Mitchell after months of speculation surrounding the Knicks following the blockbuster deal that sent Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in July.

“Once Rudy got traded I kind of saw the writing on the wall, I think we all did,” Mitchell said. “I think we understood we had a good run.”

The Knicks, with a treasure chest full of draft capital and a slew of talented young players, seemed like the odds of favorite to land Mitchell but ultimately balked at the Jazz asking price.

The Jazz ultimately agreed to a deal with Cleveland in a trade that sent Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, rookie Ochai Agbaji, and three future unprotected first-round picks to the Jazz.

Mitchell spent five seasons with the Jazz prior to his trade to Cleveland. He appeared in 345 games with 337 starts, averaging 23.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest, while shooting 44% from the field and 36% from the three-point line.

The Jazz made the postseason in all five seasons with Mitchell on the roster but were never able to make it beyond the second round. Cleveland has not qualified for the postseason since 2018 when they lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals during LeBron James final season with the team.

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Cavs Introduce Mitchell, Says He Expected Knicks Trade