— NBA Alerts (@theNBAalert) May 29, 2023
Mitchell’s move comes in the aftermath of Morant’s most recent troubles. Police recently conducted a welfare check on Morant following cryptic posts he made on Instagram. Officers concluded that the 23-year-old was fine.
That came after the Grizzlies suspended Morant from all team activities for flashing a gun again on Instagram Live.
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) May 14, 2023
In March, the NBA suspended Morant for eight games for a separate live stream incident that showed him with a gun.
The following has been released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/OhNwWzj9zU
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) March 15, 2023
Mitchell and Morant are sometimes compared to each other as players. In January, Mitchell encouraged Morant to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, with the two engaging in an exchange on Twitter.
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 15, 2023
The Grizzlies’ 2022-23 season ended in disappointing fashion when they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. After the series, Morant said he needed to be more disciplined in his decision-making and admitted that his off-the-court issues had an impact on the organization.
Morant was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2020 and has been one of the most popular players in the league since he was drafted in 2019. His recent actions have diminished that star power, and it will be interesting to see if he can repair his reputation going forward.
He has averaged more than 26 points per game in each of his last two seasons and was the NBA’s Most Improved Player last season. Morant is set to start a five-year, $194 million contract extension next season, which would have been worth even more money had he been named All-NBA this season.
Mitchell and the Cavaliers also were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, losing a five-game series to the New York Knicks. It was Cleveland’s first trip to the playoffs since 2018.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for all involved parties here.