Donovan Mitchell expected he would eventually be traded to the New York Knicks, but the Utah Jazz instead sent him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a surprise move.
Mitchell was asked by Sam Amick of The Athletic if he knew who would have been traded by the Knicks to the Jazz.
"I was told it was RJ (Barrett) and hella (draft) picks. That’s what I heard. And I thought that was happening. I thought that was it. I’m there (on the East Coast) all offseason. I’m there in the summer. So that’s why I thought, 'All right, this is gonna be a long haul in Cleveland (if they gave up Garland, Mobley and/or Allen in the deal).' But when I found out those guys were (not in the deal), it was like, 'All right, we can really do something. Like, we really could do something.' Nothing to slight the guys that were involved in the deal going to Utah. But for me, it was just like, 'We have the talent.' I said it at the press conference: Our talent is scary, but we’ve got to go out there and do it."
Mitchell was asked if it was true he was focused on a trade to either the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets or Miami Heat.
"I never said that," replied Mitchell. "I don’t know where that came from. I didn’t say that. I didn’t say a lot."
Mitchell was then asked if the Cavaliers were on his radar before the trade.
"Anything you heard in the news is what I heard," said Mitchell. "Like, when I said that I heard Cleveland was in there for a second and took their name out, that’s what I thought. So I didn’t think about it. It wasn’t one that was on my radar. I just said, 'Look, I’m just gonna play wherever I’m at.' If it came back to training camp in Utah, I’d be ready for that. I took the summer to say, 'Look, I played like s— in the playoffs. I wasn’t my best self, and I want to be the best me I could be for wherever the hell I’m at. Wherever the hell I’m at — New York, Brooklyn, Miami, Toronto, OKC, Utah."