Donovan Mitchell Claps Back After Danny Ainge’s Jazz Criticism

'He can do what he wants'

by

September 15

After a pair of blockbuster offseason moves, Danny Ainge on Monday finally explained why he made wholesale changes with the Utah Jazz.

Ainge, who facilitated monster trades for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell this summer, felt the Jazz as previously constructed was “a team that didn’t believe in each other.” From the view of the franchise’s CEO, the 2021-22 Utah team had individual resolve but not the collective buy-in that you need to be a championship-caliber team.

Mitchell, who was officially introduced as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, isn’t on the same page as Ainge.

“I disagree,” Mitchell told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “At the end of the season, we had done a lot of different things. Rudy and I, especially, had been in the media for disliking each other, which I don’t think that’s the case. For him to say that after six months around the team — I disagree. At the end of the day, that’s his decision, his team. He can do what he wants. I’m ready to go here and I think Rudy’s ready to go in Minnesota. That’s the ultimate goal. I’m not here to really harp on what could have, should have happened. It didn’t happen. We gave our best, valiant effort and we came up short. So now, for me, I come here to Cleveland, do what we have to do with a talented group and try to win the most games.”

One of the games Mitchell probably will have added motivation to win is on Dec. 19 when the superstar guard will square off with his former team for the first time.

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