Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell worked out with players such as Darius Garland and Bam Adebayo this offseason, and he revealed on the Old Man and the Three podcast with J.J. Redick that he thought he would be traded to the Miami Heat.
Mitchell posted videos over the offseason of him and Adebayo working out, but he was also spending time with his now-Cavs teammate Garland.
Mitchell explained how things worked out when asked about who he trained with this summer.
“D.G.,” Mitchell said. “But we didn’t know that this was happening. So we would be working out, and I said this to somebody, I was like, man I’m working out Bam and others and I’m thinking like, ‘This is just preparing. This is what it’s going to look like.’ And D.G. is right here.”
Redick then asked Mitchell if he thought he was going to head to Miami in a trade.
“Miami, New York, where else?” Mitchell said. “Maybe Washington. Those were the three in my head that I thought, ‘Okay, if anything were to happen, it would probably be on that side.’”
Ultimately, the Cavs swooped in and made a massive trade for Mitchell to pair him with Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
The Heat had been linked to Mitchell in the offseason, but the team didn’t have the draft assets to match what the Cavs gave the Utah Jazz in the Mitchell trade. Cleveland gave up three unprotected first-round picks in the 2025, 2027 and 2029 NBA Drafts. They added pick swaps and several talented players to sweeten the deal.
The Heat could have tried to trade guard Tyler Herro in a deal for Mitchell, but the team ended up extending Herro to a new contract later on in the offseason instead.
Heat fans can imagine a trio of Mitchell, Adebayo and Jimmy Butler running the Eastern Conference, but for now the team has to worry about the Cavs as competing contenders in the conference.
Cleveland narrowly missed the playoffs last season, losing both of its play-in tournament games to ultimately fall out of the playoffs. Now, with Mitchell on the roster, the Cavs are hoping to make a leap into the upper echelon of the East in the 2022-23 season.