The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the biggest winners of the 2022 NBA offseason thanks to their ability to execute a blockbuster trade for star guard Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell recently provided ample proof of just how special of a player he is when he dropped 71 points in an overtime win over the Chicago Bulls.
That incredible outing led sports pundit Stephen A. Smith to strongly criticize the New York Knicks for failing to execute a deal for Mitchell, who Smith says “wanted” to join the Knicks.
“Donovan Mitchell, who wanted to be in New York, who’s from New York, who expected to be wearing a New York Knicks uniform, is dropping 71,” Smith said. “… I’m just so sick of it. They (the Knicks) make me sick.”
Without a doubt, there are many Knicks fans out there that are mourning the missed opportunity of acquiring Mitchell, just like Smith is. While Mitchell was already considered a top guard in the league prior to the 2022 offseason trade, he has seemingly taken his game to a totally different level this season.
So far this season, Mitchell is putting up 29.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game on 49.2 percent shooting from the field and 41.3 percent shooting from deep. After his 71-point outpouring on Monday, it would be hard to say that he doesn’t deserve to be in the MVP conversation.
That argument can be bolstered by the fact that he has taken a Cavs team that lost in the play-in tournament last season to one that currently is just two games back of the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
As for the Knicks, they seem destined to struggle through yet another season of relative mediocrity. The iconic franchise is 20-18 on the season and currently holds the No. 8 seed in the East.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting the team has seemingly been pretty active on the trade market, and it sounds like the squad is keeping tabs on Bulls star Zach LaVine.
LaVine would be a great addition for the Knicks, but there will likely be some members of the team’s following that will always wonder what could have been with Mitchell.
Luckily, Cavs fans don’t have to do the same. The three-time All-Star is going to be with Cleveland for the foreseeable future.