The Donovan Mitchell and Dejaunte Murray trades will always be linked given the similar circumstances of both teams, the packages given up and the possible upside of the trades. The Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers are both younger teams who ended up in the play-in last season and went all-in to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Given how deep the conference will be, there’s a chance that either or both of these teams end up in the same spot despite the improvements they made.
This will be our first look at Mitchell vs. Murray with their new teams. Murray missed the Hawk’s last preseason game with back spasms but will be back tonight. Mitchell had a solid first preseason outing with the Cavs but struggled on Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers as he finished with 11 points on three of nine shooting with three assists and four turnovers. We’ll see if he can bounce back tonight.
Unfortunately, we won’t get a great idea of how both teams stack up tonight given who’s in and and out of the lineup. The Cavs will be without Caris LeVert (who is being given a planned rest day), Kevin Love, Evan Mobley, Dean Wade, Dylan Windler and Ricky Rubio tonight. Isaac Okoro and Lamar Stevens will get a chance to start at the three and the four alongside Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen.
Tonight's first five @firstenergycorp | #LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/Rks7jhKmYI— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 12, 2022
This may be Okoro’s only chance to show that he can fit in alongside Garland and Mitchell this preseason. We’ll see if he can make the most of it tonight. Okoro has shown that he can fit in well alongside the all-star backcourt in the brief chances he’s gotten.
Donovan Mitchell with the no-look pass to Isaac Okoro who gets it to go + the foul pic.twitter.com/lv20cblEOo— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationCP) October 5, 2022
Going into tonight it feels like LeVert will be the opening night starter. But, maybe Okoro can do enough to give J.B. Bickerstaff and company a reason to reevaluate.