Donovan Mitchell ready to face former team for 1st time

Cavaliers host Utah Jazz Monday night
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell meets with the media on Monday December 19, 2022 at...
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell meets with the media on Monday December 19, 2022 at Cleveland Clinic Courts(Marty DeChant/WOIO)
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 2:30 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - When the Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Donovan Mitchell back in September, he had December 19 circled on the schedule.

December 19 is here and Mitchell is ready to take his former, the Utah Jazz for the first time in front of his home fans at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

“I think it will be fun,” Mitchell said during the Cavaliers morning shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “I saw a few of the guys throughout the season when we were in L.A. Always good to go against your friends, your former teammates, coaches, coaching staff. It’ll be weird for sure. It’s weird seeing them on film but it’ll be fun.”

The Cavaliers paid a hefty price to acquire the three time All-Star guard.

Cleveland sent Lauri Markkanen, Colin Sexton and first round pick Ochai Agbaji along with three unprotected first round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029 to the Jazz in exchange for Mitchell.

So far it’s a deal that has worked out well for the wine and gold.

The Cavaliers enter Monday night’s matchup with a 20-11 record.

That’s good for third place in the eastern conference standings and second place in the central division.

Mitchell is averaging 29.6 points per game, good for eighth in the NBA. He’s also shooting 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from three point range.

As for the Jazz, they were the surprise of the NBA for the first month of the season. Utah has come back to reality since.

The Jazz enter Monday’s contest at 17-15, eighth place in the western conference.

“They got a confident group over there.” Mitchell said. ”I think the world like the NBA world was so consumed with everything being like blown up with me leaving, Rudy (Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert) leaving. They didn’t know what to expect. They got guys that can really go.”

The deal has been good for both teams so far.

Cleveland needed a franchise player to guide them to the playoffs for the first time without LeBron James since the late 1990′s.

The Jazz are building for long term success as a franchise.

“I look at it as a win win,” Mitchell said. “Everybody’s flourishing, doing well. Sometimes a new beginning is what you need. That’s for both sides. I’m happy, they seem to be that as well,”

Now we’ll just wait and see who will be happy with the outcome of the first meeting since the big trade.