The Utah Jazz’s decision to trade Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers has been the subject of discussions and several speculations as of late. The New York Knicks were considered the favorite landing spot for Mitchell, so it came as a surprise that the Salt Lake City franchise sent him to the Cavs instead.
Not to mention that there have been reports about the Knicks previously offering RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson on top of three unprotected first round picks for Mitchell.
Apparently, though, the Knicks’ failed trade pursuit could have had nothing to do with their offer but rather more on the Jazz’s stance about where to move Mitchell. According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, some Utah officials were not happy that the All-Star guard wanted out, so they sent him to the Cavs in what they view as a “payback” instead of helping him fulfill a dream of playing for his hometown team in New York.
Why Donovan Mitchell wound up with the Cavs…(Learned yet another reason after recording the podcast: some Jazz officials were not happy that Mitchell wanted out and viewed sending him to CLE — rather than home to NY — as payback) https://t.co/2KhwmHzwt5 via @acast
— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) September 4, 2022
Of course rumors like this one should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, getting emotional like that is not good for business. Also can you imagine Danny Ainge allowing such mentality?
Ainge is known to want to get every last drop of value he can for star players–like he did with Rudy Gobert–so it’s questionable that he would let the Jazz miss out on a bigger return for some petty reason such as a “payback.”
Whatever the case may be, Mitchell is definitely in a better situation with a Cavs team poised to compete for a title. As for Utah, at least they got the unprotected picks and pick swaps they want.