Donovan Mitchell hopes to receive cheers from Utah Jazz fans when he makes his return to Salt Lake City

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to play the Utah Jazz on the road on Tuesday.

The matchup will mark Mitchell’s first game in Utah since he was traded to the Cavs in the 2022 offseason. Cleveland has faced Utah once already this season, but it was a home game for the Cavs.

In Mitchell’s return to Salt Lake City, he isn’t sure what to expect. But he knows what he’s hoping for: a positive response from Jazz fans.

“I don’t know what the response will be. I hope it’s cheers,” Mitchell said. “We did a lot of great things there. Obviously, we didn’t accomplish our end goal. But I had a lot of positives despite not winning a championship. That’s not easy. Only one team does it. We had five cracks at it, and we missed.”

Although Mitchell wasn’t able to lead the Jazz to the promised land during his time with the organization, he certainly gave fans in Utah some lifelong memories. Without a doubt, the 26-year-old is one of the most talented guards to ever wear a Jazz uniform.

During his time with Utah, he averaged 23.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from deep. He earned three All-Star selections in five seasons with the team.

Mitchell helped the Jazz reach the playoffs in all of his seasons with the organization, but they never made it out of the second round. The franchise opted to go in a new direction this past offseason by trading away its two biggest stars in Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

Since coming to the Cavs, Mitchell has seemingly taken his game to new heights. He’s averaging 28.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this season on outstanding efficiency (48.8 percent shooting from the field and 40.5 percent from deep).

The former lottery pick is one of the biggest reasons why Cleveland is considered a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference. Entering Monday’s slate of games, the Cavs are fourth in the East with a 26-15 record.

Some Jazz fans may be unhappy about the way Mitchell’s stint with the team ended, so it’ll be interesting to see what type of reception he gets in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.