Report: Donovan Mitchell impressed Cavs teammates with team-first attitude after trade from Jazz

Kevin Love and Donovan Mitchell

Though a fair number of trades took place during the 2022 NBA offseason, it’s easy to argue that none have had a greater impact than the Cleveland Cavaliers’ trade for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.

The trade, which took place back in early September, turned the Cavs from a team that many believed to be a potential playoff contender into a team that looks a lot more like a championship contender within the first month of the regular season.

While Mitchell’s talent has been abundantly evident in every game, it was the former first-round pick’s team-first attitude that initially impressed his Cavs teammates.

“When Donovan Mitchell arrived over the summer following a blockbuster trade, he’d done his homework on how the Cavs operate internally,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN wrote. “Perhaps sensitive to the concept he had issues with former Utah Jazz teammates, Mitchell came in with a team-first attitude that immediately impressed teammates, team sources said.

“Cavs players, coaches and front office members noticed Mitchell showed no ego from preseason workouts right through the start of the season and multiple team members said they believed it helped him fit in. When All-Star guard Darius Garland went down in the first game with an eye injury, Mitchell’s move into a more pronounced leadership role was seamless.”

So far, Mitchell’s commitment to gaining an intimate knowledge of how his new team operates has paid off incredibly well. Not only has he led the team effectively, especially when fellow guard Garland was out with an eye injury, but he has also never looked out of his comfort zone.

So far, Mitchell is having arguably the best season of his already impressive career.

Thus far, he’s averaging 31.2 points, 6.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Though Mitchell has always been a dynamo on the offensive end, Cavs fans have also been impressed by his clear improvements on the defensive side of the ball.

At several points this season, he’s been tasked with trying to contain some of the top offensive weapons in the league. He has risen to the challenge and not looked like the defensive liability that he sometimes appeared to be with the Jazz.

With Monday’s 119-117 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cavs are 8-2 on the season. It’s the best start to a regular season for the franchise since it went 13-2 to start the 2016-17 campaign.

As fans of the team know well, the Cavs were defending NBA champs in that season.

Though the Cavs are not defending champions at the moment, they’ve proven to be contenders. If Mitchell can continue to produce and the rest of the young roster can continue to grow, there is no telling what this Cavs squad can achieve.

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