The Cleveland Cavaliers’ core around guard Donovan Mitchell could have been extremely different had things gone as the All-Star guard expected.
Donovan Mitchell said he was worried bigs Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, as well as guard Darius Garland, would be involved in a blockbuster Cavs trade during the offseason, according to a Friday morning profile from Athletic senior writer Sam Amick.
“That’s why I said that I wanted to know who was in the trade,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t know the rest of our roster, but (Darius Garland) and (Evan Mobley) for sure, because I knew what was being asked (of the Jazz in trade talks) from New York.”
The former Utah guard was told the New York Knicks would be willing to trade RJ Barrett and a multitude of draft picks, a deal he was sure was going to happen. The move would have swapped Mitchell’s opportunity to play alongside the three young Cavalier starters with a chance to play beside forward Julius Randle and center Mitchell Robinson, who are locked under contract with the Knicks until 2026.
Donovan Mitchell was relieved to hear none of the three starters would be included in a trade package to Utah as the Cavs chose instead to trade forward Lauri Markkanen, guards Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first-round draft picks and two pick swaps on Sept. 8. While the Jazz are enjoying a recent successful stretch of their own as they sit atop of the Western Conference with 10 wins, Mitchell knew the ability to retain his three key teammates would aid in building something special for years to come.
“For me, it was just like, ‘We have the talent,'” Mitchell said. “I said it at a press conference: Our talent is scary, but we’ve got to go out there and do it.”