Donovan Mitchell despises Cleveland, planning a Kevin Durant-esque franchise BETRAYAL, claims NBA insider

Cavs star Donovan Mitchell reportedly wants to leave Cleveland for New York Knicks

Donovan Mitchell despises Cleveland, planning a Kevin Durant-esque franchise BETRAYAL, claims NBA insider

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Via Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Donovan Mitchell came to Cleveland with high hopes of leading the Cavaliers to the promised land. But he was left with a bitter taste in his mouth after a humiliating first-round exit at the hands of the New York Knicks.

Mitchell, who was traded from the Utah Jazz last summer in a blockbuster deal had a stellar regular season, averaging 28.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. But when the playoffs started, Mitchell’s game went south. He shot a dismal 39.8% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc against the Knicks’ stifling defense. He also made some costly mistakes in crunch time, such as missing a potential game-tying three-pointer in Game 4 and turning the ball over twice in the final minute of Game 5.

Mitchell took full responsibility for his poor performance and the team’s failure to advance, saying. “I didn’t do my job. That’s where I’m hurt. You know what I mean? And I deserve the criticism that comes with that.” While his comments may suggest that he’s gunning for a shot at redemption, reports suggest he’s already plotting his exit out of Cleveland.

According to sources close to Mitchell, he is unhappy in the city and wants to play for his hometown team, the New York Knicks.

From everyone I’ve talked to, he wants to go to New York,” said Jason Lloyd of the Athletic. “He loves playing at Madison Square Garden, he loves the city, he loves the spotlight. He’s not happy in Cleveland, he doesn’t like the weather, he doesn’t like the culture, he doesn’t like the coaching staff. He feels like he’s wasting his prime years on a team that can’t compete for a championship.

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Cavs face tough decision on Donovan Mitchell’s future after playoff flop

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New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) (Via Ron Schwane/AP)

If Mitchell chooses not to exercise his player option for the 2024–25 season, he will be a free agent in 2024. The Cavs are also exploring trade scenarios involving Mitchell, but are asking for a huge return that includes an All-Star player, multiple young prospects, and draft picks.

The situation Mitchell is facing here is similar to Kevin Durant’s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 when he signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent after losing to them in the Western Conference Finals.

Mitchell may face a similar backlash if he decides to leave Cleveland for New York or another team in 2024. He may also risk damaging his legacy and reputation as one of the best players in the league. However, he may also feel that he deserves to play for a team that can contend for a title and appreciate his talents.

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