After news of the trade broke out, the NBA world erupted. Some people expressed excitement for the acquisition while some were in a state of disbelief.
Among those who were thrilled that the young guard was sent to Cleveland were his new teammates Darius Garland and Kevin Love. Even Mitchell was reportedly ecstatic after he found that the trade went down without the Cavs having to give up most of their core players.
It looks like Mitchell’s mother is also delighted that her son will get a fresh start with the Cavs organization.
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Mitchell had played for the Utah Jazz since 2017. The Denver Nuggets drafted him with the 13th overall pick of the draft that year and traded him to the Jazz. Even during his rookie season, it was evident that the University of Louisville product was destined for greatness.
He completed his first regular season in the league averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Utah made the playoffs that season, and Mitchell continued to showcase his talents. In 11 games in that postseason, he recorded 24.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per contest.
Trouble in Salt Lake City
The explosive guard continued to light up the league and consistently helped the Jazz reach the playoffs. However, Utah’s regular season success was overshadowed in recent years by Mitchell’s reported strained relationship with Rudy Gobert.
It seemed like the partnership between Mitchell and Gobert was a match made in heaven. Mitchell’s skills were complemented by Gobert’s defensive prowess. It should be noted that the French center is a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year award winner.
Unfortunately, the Mitchell-Gobert pairing could not lift Utah past the second round of the playoffs for five straight seasons.
Given the team’s relative lack of postseason success, the Jazz decided to blow the roster up under the leadership of Danny Ainge. Gobert was the first to go, with Utah trading him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a treasure trove of assets.
The Cavs swooping in to nab Mitchell came as a surprise to a lot of people. After all, Cleveland even reportedly removed itself from the Mitchell sweepstakes in late August.
The team had to give up a lot to acquire the 6-foot-1 guard, but it is hoping that Mitchell is the missing piece of the puzzle who will help the Cleveland franchise become a contender once more.