CLEVELAND — Donovan Mitchell disagrees that the now-broken-up Utah Jazz core “did not actually consider in one another” as crew CEO Danny Ainge mentioned earlier this week.
“I do not assume we did not consider [in each other],” Mitchell informed ESPN on Wednesday on his first day in Cleveland as a Cavalier following a Sept. 1 commerce. “I mentioned on the finish of the season, do not commerce [Rudy 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 , on the finish of the day, that is his choice.”
Ainge, who was employed final December, traded Gobert to the Timberwolves in a draft-pick-centered blockbuster in July and in addition dealt defensive specialist Royce O’Neale in a separate commerce earlier than transferring Mitchell to the Cavs on Sept. 1.
While the Cavs had been one of many groups that Mitchell knew had made a suggestion for him, he mentioned he was shocked when he was despatched to Cleveland as a substitute of his hometown New York Knicks. Mitchell mentioned within the few days earlier than the deal went down he’d been led to consider he was near being a Knick.
“Very shut, I will not say greater than that I do know a bit bit greater than most, however undoubtedly very shut,” Mitchell mentioned. “I used to be actually excited once I bought traded [to the Cavs]however we have been, it was, it was shut [to the Knicks].”
After commerce talks initially failed, Cavs president Koby Altman reengaged the Jazz in late August after the Knicks and Jazz have been unable to come back to phrases. Altman and Jazz normal supervisor Justin Zanik, who’ve accomplished 5 trades during the last 5 seasons, assembled the ultimate deal in lower than 48 hours. The Cavs traded three unprotected first-round picks, two decide swaps and three younger gamers for Mitchell.
“We have an incredible relationship with Utah,” Altman mentioned. “We simply form of hung round and hung round and hung round. And after they determined to pivot [away from the Knicks]we have been there.”
Mitchell arrived at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland round 9 am Wednesday to a gaggle of greater than 200 followers, who have been ready with Cavs officers at a hangar. Then he took half in his first unofficial exercise with teammates on the town making ready for the beginning of the coaching camp. Mitchell bought time on the ground with All-Star teammates Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen in addition to Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley.
“We might actually build something particular,” mentioned Mitchell, who labored out with Garland this summer season. “I’m simply excited to play with this crew, play for this metropolis, play with these guys and simply get on the market and simply compete and win.”