On Wednesday, the Cavs’ newest guard Donovan Mitchell was introduced to the Cleveland media at a press conference at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland recently acquired the 26-year-old from the Utah Jazz In exchange for Collin Sexton (via sign and trade), Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three future unprotected first-round draft picks (2025, 2027, 2029), and also agreeing to swap picks in 2026 and 2028.
It was rumored for weeks that the three-time All-Star was going to get moved, and many, including Mitchell, who is a New York native, thought it was going to be the Knicks, but things broke down, the Cavs swooped in, and he’s happy to be in Cleveland.
“I thought for sure I was going back home,” he said. I’m not gonna lie about that, but when I found out where I was headed, who I was playing with; the group, the team, the coaching staff. I couldn’t be more happier to be here.”
On paper, with the addition of Mitchell, to go along with what they have with All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen and an ascending player in Evan Mobley, some believe the Cavs are championship contenders. Mitchell thinks the Cavs look scary, but they still have to prove it in the end.
“On paper, we look scary,” he said. “But at the end of the day it comes down to what we do in the gym. We had a good run today and we’ve got to continue to have good work, so I can’t sit here and tell you, ‘Yes, we’re a championship team.’ We have to go out there and prove it every night.”
Despite all the championship talk in Cleveland, Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman says it’s not contention or bust for the Cavs.
“We’re super young,” Altman said. “And the timeline fits to bring in this caliber of player with this group, and let’s rock; let’s rock out. I’m excited to see what it looks like, but there’s a runway here, and I don’t want everyone to think that this year we have to be contention or bust. That’s not what this is.”
It’s too early to say whether or not the Cavs are championship contenders, but it’s probably safe to say they are one of the better teams in the East. However, to Altman’s point, this is a young team, and some of these players are not finished products, so a championship in this upcoming season might be too lofty, but in my Kevin Garnett voice,
“Anything is possible!!!”