Three weeks remain until Donovan Mitchell suits up for his first NBA preseason game with his new team in the 2022-23 season.
The Jazz traded their franchise player to the Cavaliers for three unprotected first round picks and two pick swaps on Sept. 1. But, before the blockbuster deal came to fruition, it was rumored for weeks that Mitchell was headed home to play for the Knicks.
However, when New York failed to negotiate a successful deal with Utah, the Jazz’s course of action changed. As the three-time All-Star acclimates to a new city and franchise, Mitchell admitted that he thought he would be playing for his hometown Knicks this season.
“I thought for sure I was going back home (to New York),” Mitchell said in a press conference Wednesday. “I’m not going to lie. Obviously, who doesn’t want to be home next to their mom? I haven’t lived at home since eighth grade. So, it would’ve been nice.”
Mitchell was born in Elmsford, N.Y., and played his high school ball in both Connecticut and New Hampshire.
In an interview with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Mitchell also revealed that he was “very close” to playing for the Knicks but shared that “God has a plan for everything” and that he was “truly excited” when he got traded to Cleveland.
Mitchell joins a talented Cleveland squad that features 2022 All-Stars Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland as well as standout big man Evan Mobley. Last season, Mitchell averaged 23.9 points, 4.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds while shooting 45% from the field for Utah.