Donovan Mitchell on Cavaliers trade: ‘I’m happy as hell to be where I’m at’
In September, the Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the New York Knicks were among the interested teams. After the Cavaliers’ 92-81 loss to the Knicks on Sunday, Mitchell was asked if he’s content playing with Cleveland.
“I think more so playing in front of my family and friends,” said Mitchell. “What’s done is done, and I’m happy as hell to be where I’m at. At the end of the day, this decision was made, and I don’t think I’ve been happier since I’ve been in the league.”
According to a few NBA betting sites, Donovan Mitchell has the 11th-best odds to win MVP in 2023. Some sportsbooks are showing higher odds for Devin Booker and Ja Morant.
Donovan Mitchell on if there was any extra excitement or anticipation for him to play at MSG tonight after the on-again, off-again trade discussions with the Knicks this summer before he was traded to Cleveland: pic.twitter.com/PgSaeQGIY1
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 5, 2022
“But I think for me it’s always going to be motivation to come back and play well in my hometown, but you could say that about anybody,” added Donovan Mitchell. “But with what happened this summer, it’s over with, it happened and I’m happy to be with the Cavaliers.”
Additionally, to acquire the three-time All-Star, the Cavs traded Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, a 2025 first-round draft, a 2026 first-round draft pick, a 2027 first-round draft pick, a 2028 first-round draft pick, and a 2029 first-round draft pick to the Jazz.
Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is delighted to play in Cleveland and compete for a championship
Through 22 starts this season, Mitchell is averaging career highs of 28.4 points and 36.5 minutes per game. Plus, he’s logging 3.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per contest.
On Oct. 28, in Cleveland’s 132-123 win over the Boston Celtics, the sixth-year player scored a season-high 41 points in 46 minutes of action. He finished 15-of-25 (60%) shooting from the field and 5-of-9 (55.6%) beyond the arc.
Furthermore, Donovan Mitchell is shooting 48.8% from the floor and 42.1% from three-point range this season. He’s posting a career-best player efficiency rating of 23.6. And Mitchell is averaging a career-high true shooting percentage of 62.9%.
“This is not a shot at my guys in Utah. But I’m having fun again”
– Donovan Mitchell pic.twitter.com/vOhh8J2pUo
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) December 3, 2022
Above all else, based on his postgame interviews, the Louisville product just wants to contend for a championship. He’s on the right team as well. Cleveland has the eighth-best odds to win the championship this season.
Last season, in the guard’s first 22 starts with the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell averaged 24.2 points, 4.1 boards, 5.1 assists, and 1.7 steals. So far, the 26-year-old seems to be a better player in the Eastern Conference.
Equally important, the Cavaliers guard is one of the top-15 candidates to win MVP. Of course, Mitchell leads Cleveland in scoring. Darius Garland is averaging 22.2 points per game this season, whereas Evan Mobley ranks third on the team with a 15 PPG average.
As of Monday, the Cavaliers are 15-9 and rank third in the East. Their loss to New York on Sunday snapped their two-game win streak. It was an ugly loss for Cleveland, considering the Knicks ended their own five-game home losing streak.
Source: Basketball Insider