Home Cavaliers East Notes: Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Heat, Knicks

East Notes: Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Heat, Knicks


Standout guard Donovan Mitchell was nearly traded from the Jazz to the Knicks, but said he’s happy he instead landed with the Cavs.

“What’s done is done, and I’m happy as hell to be where I’m at,” Mitchell said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “At the end of the day, this decision was made, and I don’t think I’ve been happier since I’ve been in the league. But I think for me it’s always going to be motivation to come back and play well in my hometown (of New York), but you could say that about anybody. But with what happened this summer, it’s over with, it happened and I’m happy to be with the Cavaliers.”

Mitchell is perhaps having his best all-around season as the Cavs (15-9) sport the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, through Sunday. He is averaging 28.4 points and shooting about 49 percent from the field.

“This is no shot at my guys in Utah, so I don’t want the message to get misconstrued or whatever, especially on like Twitter, but I’m having fun again,” Mitchell said, via Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “That’s just straight up. I’m in a situation where you go all summer and not know what’s going to happen. But I’m just having fun playing the game.

“There’s no shame in that. I’m not ashamed of it. I love all my guys that I’ve ever played with, but I’m just having fun with the game and a new beginning. Sometimes that is just what you need to kind of get that joy back and that jolt back. Even through the struggle — we went on a five-game losing streak — and there’s still joy within the game. That’s pretty much it.”

  • In case you missed it, the Cavs will be without forward Dean Wade for the next 3-4 weeks after he suffered a shoulder injury. We have the full story here.


Small forward Caleb Martin is trying to fill the void left by P.J. Tucker (76ers) and is trying to emulate Warriors forward Draymond Green in the process.

“Guys like Draymond Green, I’ve taken a good look at the way they defend,” Martin said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “He’s undersized but guards fives [centers]. It’s very doable. There’s a lot of technical things you can do to get around guys and make sure they don’t catch it.”

Martin has found time by playing more power forward these days, given that Jimmy Butler is the small forward. Positions, by the way, are generally determined by which position you defend.

“I think overall I’m starting to figure out the [power forward] role in terms of how I am able to get shots,” Martin said, via Jackson. “Last year, I was more on the wing and created more on catch-and-go, going downhill, attacking in transition. Now I’m creating more for other guys and finding open windows for me to get passes and be outlets for certain guys.”


  • The Knicks made a G League trade, with their Westchester franchise sending small forward Feron Hunt to the Birmingham Squadron for point guard Justin Wright-Foreman. Hunt was waived from his two-way deal by the Knicks on Nov. 29 (full story).

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