LeBron James offers high praise for Donovan Mitchell: ‘He’s a special kid’

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers got a big win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, and after the game, LeBron James praised star guard Donovan Mitchell.

“They were competitive before Donovan got here,” James said of the Cavs. “But I thought adding him made them even more dynamic. Mitchell, he’s just Mitchell. He’s a special kid.”

Mitchell went off against the Lakers, recording 43 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. He went 17-for-27 from the field and 4-for-8 from beyond the arc. It was the kind of performance that the Cavs were hoping for when they dealt a boatload of assets for him to the Utah Jazz in the offseason.

He played just as well, if not better, than he did in the team’s win against the Lakers in Los Angeles back in early November.

As the season goes on, the Cavaliers continue to look like contenders. Much of that is due to the play of Mitchell, who is averaging 29.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game while knocking down 49.6 percent of his shots from the field and 42.4 percent of his shots from deep.

If he keeps this pace up and the Cavs continue to put together wins, the University of Louisville product may start to hear his name mentioned more often in the MVP race.

James wasn’t the only one to praise Mitchell after his big night. Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff also talked up the three-time All-Star.

“He gives confidence to everybody on the floor because they believe in him and they know that he’s capable of it,” Bickerstaff said. “But he doesn’t do it in a way that takes away from other people. He empowers his teammates. He shares the ball. He’s not coming down just every possession and it’s just about him. It’s unique.”

Mitchell seemingly has assimilated himself into the Cavs organization without any issues. He even said recently that he doesn’t think he’s been happier since he’s been in the league. He entered the NBA in 2017 after being drafted by the Denver Nuggets and then traded to the Jazz.

Cleveland is currently 16-9 on the season and sits in third place in the Eastern Conference. It has two games left on its current home stand against the Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder.

After a small two-game road trip, the Cavs will return back to Cleveland and start a six-game home stand.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who is proud to be a contributor of Cavaliers Nation. He is an avid NBA fan.