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Donovan Mitchell says there’s ‘no reason’ the Cleveland Cavaliers can’t compete right away

Mitchell had his introductory press conference on Wednesday.

Cleveland Cavaliers Introduce Donovan Mitchell Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

New Cleveland Cavaliers Donovan Mitchell had his introductory press conference on Wednesday. In his first remarks as a member of the Cavs, Mitchell says there’s ‘no reason’ the Cavs can’t compete immediately.

“There’s no reason. We have to go out there and do the work,” Mitchell said. “On paper, we look scary. But at the end of the day it comes down to what we do in the gym. We had a good run today and we’ve got to continue to have good work, so I can’t sit here and tell you, ‘Yes, we’re a championship team.’ We have to go out there and prove it every night. I know we’re going to have good months and good weeks and good days and we’re going to have bad weeks and bad days. But for us, if we continue to put the work in night in and night out and continue to put that effort in with the right plays we might do something.”

Mitchell isn’t wrong. He said elsewhere in the presser that the Cavs were a high playoff seed before injuries derailed them at the very end of the floor. But the potential is there for this team to be special, for the 2022-23 Cavaliers to be really good right away in Mitchell’s first season. There are several factors that will impact that — Evan Mobley’s development in year two, how Mitchell and Darius Garland fit, etc. — but it’s a high-ceiling team,.

“We’re still super young,” Cavs president of basketball of operations Koby Altman said when asked about what the trade means. “We have to go through some trials and tribulations. We got to go through some failures and come back even stronger. But when you talk about adding Donovan who’s played 39 playoff games, that enhances our acceleration, and I’m excited. I think we’ve earned the opportunity to try to compete against the best in the world. And it’s an exciting group that has great character, great work ethic, and most importantly guys that really want to be in Cleveland. I think that’s really important.”