Donovan Mitchell disputes Danny Ainge account, says he told Jazz not to trade Rudy Gobert

Donovan Mitchell says he needed to work issues out.

In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, the now-Cleveland Cavaliers guard downplayed stories of discord with Rudy Gobert and blamed Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge for breaking apart the crew. He additionally disputed Ainge’s account from Monday that Jazz gamers “actually did not imagine in one another.”

“I do not assume we did not imagine,” Mitchell told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “I stated on the finish of the season, do not trade [Gobert]. Let’s determine this out, let’s do. And that did not occur.

“For him to say that after six months across the crew, I disagree. But you understand, on the finish of the day, that is his resolution.”

An extended-time Boston Celtics govt, Ainge joined the Jazz as CEO in December. After the Jazz core constructed round All-Stars Gobert and Mitchell misplaced within the first spherical of the playoffs and failed to advance to the Western Conference finals for a fifth straight yr, Ainge had seen sufficient.

He traded Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a boatload of draft capital in July. The transfer signaled Mitchell’s imminent exit, which Ainge orchestrated for much more draft capital in a Sept. 1 cope with the Cavs.

Sep 14, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell listens to a query from the media throughout an introductory press convention at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Reports of discord between Gobert and Mitchell swirled across the Jazz final season. Ainge confirmed as a lot — not less than from his perspective — whereas talking with reporters on Monday.

“What I noticed through the season was a gaggle of gamers that basically did not imagine in one another,” Ainge stated. “I believe individually they’ve resolved. I simply do not imagine that collectively they did.”

While Mitchell was all however gone as soon as the Jazz initiated their rebuild with the Gobert trade, his eventual vacation spot in Cleveland was a shock to most — Mitchell included. A New York native who was brazenly coveted by the Knicks, Mitchell told reporters that he believed that he was going to put on blue and orange subsequent season.

“I assumed for certain I used to be going again house,” Mitchell stated of New York in a information convention. “I’m not going to lie about that.”

But talks between the Jazz and the Knicks broke down, and the Knicks as a substitute signed RJ Barrett to an extension. Now Mitchell will crew up in a backcourt with 22-year-old All-Star Darius Garland on a younger Cavs crew aiming to make some postseason noise subsequent season.

“When I discovered the place I used to be headed, who I used to be enjoying with … I could not be happier,” Mitchell continued.

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