Oh, what could’ve been. New York Knicks fans don’t need to be reminded of the ending to the Donovan Mitchell trade saga, but the 25-year-old’s comments in his introductory press conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers reopened a wound that had finally begun to heal.
Regardless of what the media has said since ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Sept. 1, the belief around the NBA (not just the Knicks) was that Mitchell would end up in New York. After spending five seasons in Utah, it seemed as if he would be going back to the place where it all began for him.
Instead, the Cavaliers swooped in and offered Danny Ainge a third unprotected first-round pick, which is something that the Knicks didn’t do. Just like that, the three-time All-Star made his way to the Eastern Conference, but not to New York.
In Mitchell’s press conference on Wednesday, he spoke publicly for the first time about the trade. To no surprise, he was asked about his feelings about potentially leaving the Jazz and where he thought he would be headed.
But wait, there’s more…
Donovan Mitchell reveals that he thought he would be traded to the Knicks, not the Cavaliers
That’s proof that Donovan Mitchell is just like the rest of us who assumed that he’d be suiting up for New York in 2022-23. Danny Ainge had different plans, though. At least the Knicks don’t have to worry about doing business with him anymore… or do they?
Mitchell’s spent a lot of the offseason in New York, which as he mentioned is where his family is. His father is an executive with the New York Mets and his mother was a preschool teacher in Greenwich, CT, but she retired a couple of years ago. As Mitchell said, a trade to the Knicks would’ve meant that he would be able to live back in New York for the first time since he was in the eighth grade.
Of course, Cleveland is much closer to New York than Utah is, but it would’ve been extra special for Mitchell to get to call Madison Square Garden his new home.
Nearly two weeks have passed since it was reported that Donovan Mitchell would be joining the Cavaliers, and at this point, most Knicks fans have come to terms with that news. However, that doesn’t mean that it was easy to learn that he was looking forward to possibly being back home.
Fans should go ahead and prepare to be reminded of what could’ve been all season long, as this won’t be the last time that Donovan Mitchell and the Knicks will be discussed in the same sentence. Oh well. Onward and upward, right?