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Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell on return to Utah: ‘I hope it’s cheers’

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Cavaliers Donovan Mitchell on return to Utah Jazz - 'I hope it's cheers'
USA Today Network

Donovan Mitchell was traded by the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers back in September, and now the three-time All-Star is preparing for his first road matchup against his former team on Tuesday night.

“I don’t know what the response will be. I hope it’s cheers,” Mitchell said on returning to Utah after Cleveland’s 112-98 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

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“We did a lot of great things there. Obviously, we didn’t accomplish our end goal,” added the Cavaliers guard. “But I had a lot of positives despite not winning a championship. That’s not easy. Only one team does it. We had five cracks at it, and we missed.”

Through 36 starts this season, the three-time All-Star is averaging a career-high 28.8 points per game, along with 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.4 steals. He’s also shooting career bests of 48.8% from the field and 40.5% outside the arc.

Cavaliers superstar Donovan Mitchell hopes to be serenaded with cheers when he returns to Utah

Jazz fans might feel disappointed right about now, considering Mitchell is having the best season of his career with the Cavaliers. Last Monday, in Cleveland’s 145-134 win against the Chicago Bulls, the guard recorded a career-high 71 points in 50 minutes of action.

Mitchell logged the eighth-most points in a single game in NBA history. Additionally, the 26-year-old scored or assisted on 99 points versus Chicago, the second-most in league history since Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point performance.

Then again, at least the Jazz have Lauri Markkanen, who is now the top favorite to win NBA Most Improved Player of the Year. Markkanen is averaging a career-high 24.5 points per game. Perhaps this trade will benefit Utah more than the Cavaliers in the coming seasons.

Furthermore, the 2020-21 season was Mitchell’s best campaign with Utah. The Louisville product averaged 26.4 points, 4.4 boards, 5.2 assists, and 1.0 steal per contest.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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