Mitchell had some interest in playing for the Heat alongside Bam Adebayo, but per Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports, playing with Butler was a concern.
“Yes, he wanted to play with Bam, we heard that he was a little bit concerned about playing with Jimmy,” Skolnick said on the Miami Heat Beat’s HangoverTime Postgame Show.
Mitchell fired back over the rumor with a tweet on Tuesday.
“We live in a world where you can just say anything and it just be true smh,” Mitchell said, replying to a story about the rumor.
Mitchell Has Steered Cavs in Right Direction
The Cavs made the move for Mitchell in the offseason, sending guard Collin Sexton, forward Lauri Markkanen and rookie guard Ochai Agbaji to Utah in the blockbuster, along with unprotected first-round draft picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029.
It’s safe to say that the investment has paid off, with Mitchell averaging 27.6 points — good for seventh in the league — along with 4.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
“When you watch [Mitchell] and you prepare for him, you see him as a scorer,” Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “In reality he is a lead guard. He has the ability to orchestrate, he has the ability to play-make, he has the empathy to understand what his teammates need and the ability to put them in position to be successful. He’s not a combo guard or a two guard. He is a point guard with the ability to score the basketball at a high level.
“The way he thinks [about] the game, it’s both sides of the floor. It’s not just an offensive thing, but he has a great eye for understanding what his opponent is trying to do. And then he has a way of dissecting that to create an advantage for us. And I think he’s able to see it on the fly. It’s not an, ‘Oh, shoot, I went home and watched the film and saw what they were doing.’ It’s a, ‘This is what they’re doing right now. This is how quickly I can shift and make them pay.’”
Mitchell Brings Playoff Experience to Young Cavs
What Mitchell also brings to the table for Cleveland is playoff experience, something that is lacking on their talented but young roster. He’s played in 39 playoff games, averaging 28.3 points in those contests.
At points during the season against the better teams, he has stressed that they need to be better.
“I think we’re all kind of tired of coming here and saying, ‘We’re learning.’ You want to learn through success, and we haven’t played well,” Mitchell said after a February loss to the Heat. “That’s just the honest truth. We’ve got to find a way to do that. That’s on all of us.”
But the Cavs have managed to string together some excellent efforts in the second half of the season and sit at 43-27 heading into the final stretch. That’s good for fourth in the Eastern Conference and would give them home court in the first round.