Donovan Mitchell's days with the Utah Jazz were numbered once the team opted for a total rebuild and his departure finally became official on Thursday. After trading away Rudy Gobert earlier this offseason to the Timberwolves, the Jazz sent their other star to the Cavaliers in a blockbuster deal.
It brought to an end an eventful tenure with the Jazz for Mitchell, and while they ultimately came up short in the postseason, there were a lot of great memories made along the way. He and Gobert lifted up a franchise that was mired in mediocrity after Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams' departures as they made the Jazz relevant again. Not many would have seen that coming, though, when they traded for him on draft night in 2017, and Mitchell has certainly come a long way since then.
Donovan Mitchell Sent A Special Message To The Jazz
He wasn't a household name when he entered the 2017 NBA Draft, but he has certainly become one now, and while a lot of that is down to his hard work, he has the Jazz to thank for where he is today as well. He sent a heartfelt message to them after the trade, in which he thanked them for the memories.
He was an All-Star in each of his last 3 seasons with the team and also led them to the best record in the NBA in the 2020-21 season, something they hadn't accomplished since the days of Karl Malone and John Stockton in the late 1990s. Despite all the regular season success, the window of contention for the Jazz with their core had closed, so they had to go for a rebuild, and the Cavaliers ended up being the benefactor here.
Mitchell Primed For Success Now With The Cavaliers
While one window for contention has shut in Utah, it has well and truly opened up now in Cleveland after they acquired Mitchell. He gives them that primary scoring option that the team lacked last season, and it's not a surprise that Donovan is excited to join a team that was headlined by Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.
The Cavaliers had finally returned to relevance last season, and Mitchell will help them take that next step as they look to challenge the powerhouses of their conference. The East seems as loaded as it has ever been in recent times, and we can't wait for the season to start.