Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell has heard these comparisons before, so when discussing how he measures up to soon-to-be Hall of Fame wing Dwyane Wade, his answer is understandably nuanced.
On one end of the spectrum is the inspiration he gets from Wade, a former NBA superstar that he studies under and whose resume he would love to have. To that end, Mitchell may already be a bit behind the curve, with one fewer NBA championship, Finals MVP, and All-Star selection than Wade at the same point in their careers (as well as three fewer All-Defensive selections and five fewer All-NBA selections).
However, on the other end of the spectrum is Mitchell’s desire to carve out his own path. After all, for all the athletic similarities between he and Wade, Mitchell’s jumper makes him a much different player,
“I’d love to accomplish three chips, All-NBA, All Defensive Team, all that stuff,” Mitchell says, per Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports.
"I'd love to accomplish three chips, All-NBA, All Defensive Team, all that stuff."
Mitchell is trying to make his own lane:
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) August 8, 2023
“A lot of its relatable,” he continues, “but in the same right and he would agree, I’m trying to make my own lane as well. Trying to be myself [and] find ways to be better… Ultimately, I shoot better, and I tell him that all the time, I tell him, because he can’t shoot. But he did pretty well for a guy who can’t shoot.”
Mitchell is preparing for his second season with the Cavs after Cleveland acquired him from the Utah Jazz in the 2022 offseason. A blockbuster move that paid dividends for the franchise, particularly in the first half of 2022-23, the soon-to-be 27-year-old helped lead the Cavs to seven more wins than the previous season and their first playoff berth of the post-LeBron James era.
His path is going to be different from Wade’s. That’s for sure. However, the Cavs are hoping that he can bring them anywhere near the success that the Miami Heat had with their former franchise player.
John Patrick Postrado ·
Will he lead them to a ring?
Of course, Dwyane Wade did have LeBron James with him for two of his three championships. He had Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal alongside him for his first one.
To that point, while one of the premier point guards in the NBA, Darius Garland has yet to prove himself to be at the level of either a LeBron or Shaq. With that being said, though the Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping that Donovan Mitchell can bring them a ring, it’s possible that they won’t truly reach that level until Evan Mobley gets closer to the Anthony Davis-like player he was projected to be ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft.