For several months this past summer, Mitchell had been expected to eventually be acquired by the New York Knicks, his hometown team. That’s not how it played out, and he is now leading one of the best young teams in the league.
With the team’s first 24 games of the 2022-23 regular season in the books, it appears as though the exciting guard is thanking his lucky stars.
Mitchell recently admitted that he doesn’t think he’s ever been happier in the NBA than he is right now. It’s an incredibly powerful endorsement of what is being built in Cleveland.
“What’s done is done, and I’m happy as hell to be where I’m at,” he told Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News. “At the end of the day, this decision was made and I don’t think I’ve been happier since I’ve been in the league. But I think for me it’s always going to be motivation to come back and play well in my hometown, but you could say that about anybody. But with what happened this summer, it’s over with, it happened and I’m happy to be with the Cavaliers.”
Things got off to an incredibly hot start for Mitchell and the Cavs to begin the season. In his first seven games, the Cavs got six wins and Mitchell averaged 31.1 points per game. After two more wins, the Cavs then struggled through a five-game losing streak.
Since then, however, the Cavs have evened things out and are winning at a really impressive rate. Along with Mitchell, young guard Darius Garland and second-year big man Evan Mobley have been incredibly impressive.
The Cavs’ role players have also been stellar at times, with guys like Kevin Love, Cedi Osman and Caris LeVert all putting in strong performances in different games throughout the season.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, no one showed up in a major way in their most recent matchup, a Sunday loss to the New York Knicks. The Cavs were stifled on offense and managed to score just 81 total points in the game. Mitchell was the offensive strong point for his team, finishing with 23 points, but it wasn’t enough.
Despite the loss, Mitchell and the Cavs have to feel great about how their season is trending. They are currently the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Though there is a lot of season left to be played, the Cavs are fully expected to end their playoff drought this season.
Looking ahead, the Cavs have some tough matchups and some winnable games in the coming days. The emotional high point of the week will come on Tuesday when LeBron James returns to the Cleveland to lead his surging Los Angeles Lakers.
Though L.A. is just 10-12 on the season, it has won eight of its last 10.
Mitchell and the Cavs will then host another tough team in the Sacramento Kings on Friday.