Donovan Mitchell’s ‘Private’ Exchange With Trae Young Revealed After Cavs Loss

Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to take advantage of the Utah Jazz’s decision to rebuild over the summer by adding All-Star Donovan Mitchell to the team’s already exciting young core.

But the Jazz’s blowup was a complete one; while Utah cleaned house on the floor, head coach Quin Snyder resigned, as well. Just a few months later, however, and Snyder is set to be the Atlanta Hawks’ next head coach, replacing Nate McMillan who was fired last week.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mitchell expressed his admiration for Snyder to Hawks star Trae Young after the Cavs’ loss to Atlanta last week.

“After a loss to the Hawks on Friday, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell profusely praised Snyder in a private conversation with Young and shared how instrumental the coach had been in his own development into an All-Star, sources said,” Woj reported.

And on Monday, Mitchell formally congratulated his former coach via social media.

“I’m late but man I’m so happy to see my guy back in the league!! Congrats Q welcome back!!,” Mitchell tweeted.

Mitchell flourished under Snyder in Utah. After being selected No. 13 by the Jazz in 2017, Mitchell quickly established himself as an elite scorer, earning three All-Star nods with Utah from 2019-2021.

Mitchell’s Relationship with Cavs Coach on Display

Mitchell’s respect for his coaches has carried over to Cleveland, as well. Ahead of a must-win game against the Raptors on Sunday, Mitchell and Cavs skipper JB Bickerstaff met one-on-one.

According to Chris Fedor of, the coach and player met before the Raptors game to, as Fedor explained, “set the tone.” The Cavs’ lone All-Star evidently got the message. In just three-quarters of work, Mitchell managed a team-high 35 points.

With Mitchell responding well on the floor, Bickerstaff gushed with praise after the game.

While Mitchell stepped up against the Raptors Sunday, his playoff history is less thrilling. Despite working with Snyder to develop a continually excellent regular season team — the Jazz finished atop the division twice during Mitchell’s tenure — the Jazz regularly disappointed in the playoffs.

Despite those rousing regular seasons, Mitchell’s team never advanced past the second round.

This year, he’s on a far more balanced Cavaliers team, albeit one that will be leaning on his playoff experience nonetheless. Outside of Jarrett Allen, whose last eight playoff games have been losses, the starting five is devoid of any substantial playoff experience.

Cavs Looking to Fill Kevin Love Roster Spot

Perhaps more playoff-tested reinforcements are in the offing for Cleveland. After parting with Kevin Love via buyout, the Cavs are reportedly indeed looking into filling his role rather than keeping it open.

But just who that replacement is remains a mystery. And as Cavaliers insider Evan Dammarell explained, talks of a replacement are still ongoing behind the scenes.

“#Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that they’ll have internal conversations with Koby Altman about addressing the open roster spot based on what the team needs the most,” Dammarell tweeted on Sunday. 

The Cavaliers, who boast a top-ten offense and defense, are in an enviable position compared to most teams. But Cleveland could look to add some supplemental shooting and rebounding help, given that the team is lacking in both categories.

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