Donovan Mitchell delivered one of the best regular seasons in Cleveland Cavaliers’ history highlighted by his 71-point performance in January.
In his first year with the team, Mitchell averaged 28.3 points on .484/.386/.867 shooting splits with 4.4 assists in 68 games. His stellar play allowed the Cavs to achieve their 12th 50-win season and their best record since the 2017-18 campaign.
The team and individual success resulted in Mitchell finishing sixth in MVP voting. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid won the MVP award with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic finishing second, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished third, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum finished fourth and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished fifth.
MVP award voting, per the NBA: pic.twitter.com/vicdertGZ7— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 2, 2023
This was the first time Mitchell has received any votes for MVP. It is also the first time a Cavalier has done so since LeBron James finished second in MVP voting in the 2017-18 season.
Mitchell received the second most votes for any guard behind only Gilgeous-Alexander. This could Mitchell will make First Team All-NBA; those will teams will be released in the near future. If he does do that, he would be the third Cavalier to achieve that joining James and Mark Price. This would also be the first time Mitchell has made any All-NBA team.
The season didn’t end the way Mitchell and his teammates were hoping. Mitchell struggled throughout the first round. He wasn’t able to carry the offense like he did all season. That, however, doesn’t take away from how special he was in the regular season what he meant to a Cavs team that won 51 games.