The Cleveland Cavaliers have a very happy Donovan Mitchell apparently.
When you’re told all the time that your city isn’t a “free agent destination” or that it’s “hard to attract the best names”, you start to accept it a little. Surely, there’s truth to that, right? Granted, that’s not always the case and it’s not even the case that often. A lot of players go to cities and fall in love with cities that aren’t major markets. Partly because not everyone loves being confined to smoggy, tight quarters.
So while the media loves to push the narrative that if you aren’t in Miami, Los Angeles, or New York, it’d be hard to keep a star happy, that just isn’t true. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a guy who is proving that to be the case, as apparently, Donovan Mitchell is very happy in Cleveland.
The All-Star was dealt to Cleveland from Utah during the offseason and since arriving, he’s been seen as a player who is quite happy to be here. Even the story of how he found out about the trades shows he loves the city and team. Apparently, he was on a golf course and when he got the call he went running up and down the course.
Then he and Kevin Love got on the phone with one another. The rest is history.
Donovan Mitchell may do more to change the perception of the Cleveland Cavaliers than LeBron James did
What LeBron James did for the brand awareness of the Cleveland Cavaliers can’t be disputed. While the team had a huge fan base in the 1980s and early 1990s, by the time James arrived, the Cavaliers were a mostly dead franchise, just treading water. James changed the perception of the squad.
Yet, he didn’t elevate it beyond being a talking point. In fact, James’ entire first run saw him unable to recruit star players to play with. Even in his second stint, that didn’t change. The guys that came in were usually via trade or by the draft, and save for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, there weren’t any major names that came in anyway.
Yes, Mitchell came in via a trade, but his high-profile nature and his status as a non-local will give the franchise a brand new element in recruiting talent. For James, he was from the area. So if he enjoyed being here, it wouldn’t affect many non-locals because it would be seen as a guy being a homer.
For Mitchell, he wasn’t from Cleveland. He wanted to be a Knick. So if others see how happy Mitchell is in a town he didn’t have as his number one destination, that will go far in helping free agents and other players see that this is an organization worth being a part of.
There is no baggage with Mitchell in Cleveland like there was with James. There’s also implied bias with Mitchell being a fan of the Cavs either.
So Mitchell could do wonders for this franchise just by enjoying his time while he’s here.