The Utah Jazz dealt away their superstar guard Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers this past summer. The contention for the 25.9 points per game scorer had been over, but fans, including Mitchell himself, thought he’d end up playing his sixth season back home in New York at Madison Square Garden.
Mitchell says in his introductory to the Cavs that his deal to the New York Knicks looked done, and maybe, it should have, considering the team’s packages. One of New York’s best offers at Utah’s CEO Danny Ainge was a deal centered around Mitchell for RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson, and three unprotected first-round picks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
At the start of trade talks in July, New York offered Utah a Donovan Mitchell package including RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unprotected first-round picks, sources tell ESPN. Jazz turned down that offer and Robinson signed a $60M extension to stay w/ NY. https://t.co/3eDg2Mf7f1
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 2, 2022
The NBA world was shocked to see the Knicks add RJ Barrett to the deal, considering he’s one of their bright young talents, by giving them a 20-piece a night at 22-years-old. The talent Mitchell can be at his peak is off the charts, and the homecoming would’ve seemed fitting to embark on that journey.
“I thought for sure I was going back home; I’m not gonna lie about that,” Mitchell told reporters on Wednesday in his introductory Cavs press conference, per the New York Post. “Who doesn’t want to be home next to their mom?”
The all-star guard is from Elmsford, NY, a town located in Westchester County. He lived there until his high school days, when he would end up in Canterbury School in Connecticut and Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. He left his mark at Louisville, where his play earned him the 13th selection in the 2017 NBA draft.
Mitchell did all he could in Utah, but the pieces to a title just seemed like lost hope. Though he never spoke about where he wanted to play next, it did seem like the Mecca was one of his more intriguing options. Ultimately, Mitchell ends up in Cleveland and will look to team-up with All-Star Darius Garland and promising center Evan Mobley. The three look to form a dangerous Big 3 in the East.
While the homecoming party in New York will have to wait, fans can get a proper show with Mitchell in the Land before he hits free agency in 2025.