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Donovan Mitchell pushes past departure from Utah Jazz, adamant Cleveland Cavaliers can ‘really build something special’


CLEVELAND — Donovan Mitchell disagrees that the now-broken-up Utah Jazz core “did not actually consider in one another” as workforce CEO Danny Ainge mentioned earlier this week.

“I do not assume we did not consider [in each other],” Mitchell instructed ESPN Wednesday on his first day in Cleveland as a Cavalier following a Sept. 1 commerce. “I mentioned on the finish of the season, do not commerce [Rudy Gobert]. Let’s determine this out, let’s do. And that did not occur. For him to say that after six months across the workforce, I disagree. However you already know, on the finish of the day, that is his determination.”

Ainge, who was employed final December, traded Gobert to the Timberwolves in a draft-pick-centered blockbuster in July and in addition dealt defensive specialist Royce O’Neale in a separate commerce earlier than shifting Mitchell to the Cavs on Sept. 1.

Whereas the Cavs had been one of many groups that Mitchell knew had made a suggestion for him, he mentioned he was shocked when he was despatched to Cleveland as an alternative of his hometown New York Knicks. Mitchell mentioned within the few days earlier than the deal went down he’d been led to consider he was near being a Knick.

“Very shut, I will not say greater than that I do know a bit bit greater than most, however positively very shut,” Mitchell mentioned. “I used to be actually excited once I acquired traded [to the Cavs]however we had been, it was, it was shut [to the Knicks].”

After commerce talks initially failed, Cavs president Koby Altman reengaged the Jazz in late August after the Knicks and Jazz had been capable of come to phrases. Altman and Jazz basic supervisor Justin Zanik, who’ve accomplished 5 trades during the last 5 seasons, assembled the ultimate deal in lower than 48 hours. The Cavs traded three unprotected first-round picks, two choose swaps and three younger gamers for Mitchell.

“Now we have an ideal relationship with Utah,” Altman mentioned. “We simply type of hung round and hung round and hung round. And after they determine to pivot [away from the Knicks]we had been there.”

Mitchell arrived at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland round 9 am Wednesday to a gaggle of greater than 200 followers, who had been ready with Cavs officers at a hangar. Then he took half in his first unofficial exercise with teammates on the town making ready for the beginning of coaching camp. Mitchell acquired time on the ground with All-Star teammates Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen in addition to Rookie of the 12 months runner-up Evan Mobley.

“We might actually construct one thing particular,” mentioned Mitchell, who has labored out with Garland this summer time. “I am simply excited to play with this workforce, play for this metropolis, play with these guys and simply get on the market and simply compete and win.”

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