Donovan Mitchell can't escape the Utah Jazz nearly two years after being traded

Donovan Mitchell can't escape the shadow of the Utah Jazz.
2023 NBA All Star Game
2023 NBA All Star Game / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

When the Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell, I'm pretty sure he thought he wouldn't have to be hounded by anyone from the Jazz organization ever again. That must have been a selling point for him when he got traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2022. The idea that he'd be able to spread his wings so to speak with different coaches was there.

Now, however, it looks like what's old is once again new. Former Utah Jazz assistant coach Johnnie Bryant, currently with the New York Knicks, is one of the leading candidates to replace the Cleveland Cavaliers' former coach, J.B. Bickerstaff. Bryant, who spent six seasons with the Jazz, all under Quiinn Snyder, is one of the few names to be heavily considered.

Golden State's Kenny Atkinson and apparently the Las Vegas Aces' head coach, Becky Hammon have also been discussed to some degree, though Atkinson may have the inside track to land the job. Still, the fact that Mitchell is coached by one of the men who he spent the first three seasons of his career with is rather funny.

It's like no matter where Mitchell goes, the specter of Salt Lake hovers overhead. Though, sincerely, Bryant may not be a bad option. He has to be a knowledgeable coach, after all, he coached under Snyder and Tom Thibodeau, so he clearly has a good understanding of defensive assignments. At least, you'd hope so.

So coming into the Cavaliers situation with Isaac Okoro, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley would be an advantageous one, with the idea that all three defensive-minded players would be better. Will that help Mitchell any? Who knows, he clearly needs a second, legitimate All-Star, which he doesn't truly have in Cleveland.

It almost has us wondering if the trade to Cleveland better served him than just staying with the Jazz.