The Utah Jazz head into a curious 2022-23 NBA season after dealing away its vaunted 1-2 punch in Rudy Gobert and then Donovan Mitchell.

The landscape changed for the NBA franchise with new CEO Danny Ainge opting to clean house and start fresh. That was pretty clear after the trades of Gobert and Mitchell with Utah now stocking up on picks and taking a chance on young talent.

However, Mitchell had a different take on things. He claims that he did not want to break up with Gobert and that it was Ainge who wanted to break up the team when he spoke on ESPN.

“I said at the end of the season, don't trade [Gobert]. Let's figure this out, let's do. And that didn't happen,” the 26-year-old said. "For him to say that after six months around the team, I disagree. But you know, at the end of the day, that's his decision."

Ainge came on board in December and was not too happy seeing the Jazz miss the Western Conference Finals. It was the fifth-straight year that Utah had failed to do so.

On Monday, Ainge spoke to reporters and said that he saw a group of players that didn’t believe in each other.

“What I saw during the season was a group of players that really didn’t believe in each other,” Ainge said. “I think individually they have resolve. I just don’t believe that collectively they did."

Also, the All-Star forward added that he thought he was bound to return to New York. But as most know, talks between the Jazz and the New York Knicks broke down.

Regardless, the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Champion says that he is happy and is looking forward to teaming up with Darius Garland with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"When I found out where I was headed, who I was playing with ... I couldn't be happier," the 6-foot-1 guard quipped.

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz Getty Images | Alex Goodlett

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