Guard Donovan Mitchell made it pretty clear his return to Utah for the All-Star Game was a special one. Mitchell spent the first five seasons of his career with the Jazz, making the All-Star team three times.
This was his first time as a starter, however.
“You know, obviously, you grow up here as a player, as a person, as a man and then to be back here as a starter, it’s one of those things,” Mitchell said, Sam Amick of The Athletic. “Like I said, I was a Cleveland fan growing up, so that’s a full-circle moment.
“You have all these full-circle moments in Cleveland and then to come back here for All-Star, it’s almost like it makes sense. I think it’s truly special. I’m honored to be here, honored to be back, and the love you receive is awesome.”
Mitchell finished with 40 points and 10 assists. He is averaging a career-high 27.3 points with the Cavs.
- In case you missed it, Mitchell was selected as one of two new vice presidents for the players union over the weekend. We have that full post here.
- Forward Evan Mobley said the Cavs will miss Kevin Love, who is signing with the Heat following a contract buyout. “It definitely hits you emotionally,” Mobley said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “… All the guys are going to miss him for sure, and I just hope he does great wherever he goes.”
Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said his priority at All-Star Weekend was to have fun, but also get healthy and return from his right wrist sprain to help the Bucks in their bid for a title.
“Taking it day by day; try to get healthy,” Antetokounmpo said, via Amick. “You know, obviously I had the incident three days ago. I don’t think it’s smart in any way to, you know, play a lot of minutes in the All-Star Game. At the end of the day, obviously, you want to participate, you want to run up and down, joke around, have some dunks, create some work.
“But at the end of the day, I feel you also have to be mature. Hard decision, but mature decision to kind of, you know, take a break here, take care of it, and hopefully I can, you know, be available for my team when they need me.”
- Antetokounmpo is headed to New York on Monday for further testing on the wrist, as we relayed here.
- Love is likely to sign his contract with the Heat at some point Monday evening, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. Love will clear waivers at 5 p.m. EST following his buyout with the Cavs.
- With Caleb Martin starting at power forward for much of the season, Chiang examined the new frontcourt depth in Miami after the signings of Love, and presumably, center Cody Zeller (full post).
- Meanwhile, the Heat will look to improve on their current spot in the Eastern Conference standings, currently sitting in seventh. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel breaks it down.