Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell: Danny Ainge Comments About Jazz Not Fair

Now that Donovan Mitchell is with the Cavaliers, he is sometimes asked about what went down with the Jazz.Donovan Mitchell

But Mitchell painted a different picture than the one described by Utah CEO Danny Ainge, who finalized the trade with Cleveland.

Ainge took over Jazz basketball operations in December. He said he didn’t like what he saw from the team — which helped lead to the trades of Mitchell and Rudy Gobert (to the Timberwolves), and the decision to begin a rebuild.

“When we got to the playoffs, I thought, well, this is a team that’s had some disappointing playoffs and maybe they’re just waiting for the playoffs,” Ainge told reporters. “And so I gave them that benefit of the doubt. But it was clear the team did not perform well in the playoffs again.”

Mitchell responded in The Woj Pod from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“That’s his assumption after being around for six months, it’s easy to look at things from the outside in and get your own perception on stuff,” Mitchell said. “Despite what the media reports, especially about me and Rudy like this, to be honest, it’s obvious what everybody talks about, granted, we had some differences.

“But at the end of the day we were the number one pick-and-roll duo for a lot of last year, we were very efficient together on the floor. There was a lot of things that played into it that we just didn’t have success, you know? (…) I wouldn’t say this group didn’t believe each other. (…) I wouldn’t say that we didn’t believe in each other. I don’t think that’s fair after six months.”

Either way, both parties are moving on separately, with Ainge rebuilding the Jazz with the likes of Collin Sexton, Talen Horton-Tucker and Lauri Markkanen, and Mitchell excited to begin his career with the Cavs.

“We’re young but we’re hungry and we’re ready. We’re real excited,” Mitchell told reporters. “… I couldn’t be more excited to get going.”

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