Cavs Star Donovan Mitchell Raises Eyebrows After Supporting Browns’ Bitter Rival

It’s no secret that professional athletes tend to support one another, especially during contract negotiations with teams and management. And recently, Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell did just that, showing up to the Cavs’ travel day in a Lamar Jackson jersey.

The only problem? Jackson plays for the Baltimore Ravens, who are longtime rivals of the Cleveland Browns.

Donovan Mitchell rocking a @Lj_era8 jersey on the Cavs’ road trip 😤

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are currently in a contract stalemate.

(via @cavs) pic.twitter.com/rbUnGbO4tu

— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 20, 2023

Mitchell rocking the purple and black was a slightly jarring sight, raising eyebrows on social media.

Are Cleveland fans actually upset that Donovan Mitchell is supporting Lamar Jackson?

— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) March 20, 2023

But before the city of Cleveland demands that Mitchell renounce and burn the jersey in a public spectacle, it’s worth noting a few factors.

Mitchell and Jackson both went to the University of Louisville in 2015 and have been friends ever since. Additionally, Mitchell’s support comes at a time when Jackson is embroiled in a contract standoff with the Baltimore Ravens (which, in a roundabout way, could actually be a good thing for the Browns).

Mitchell Claps Back at Butler Rumor

It’s not the first time recently that Mitchell has drawn some intrigue on social media.

Last week, Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports reported that Mitchell was interested in playing with Bam Adebayo on the Miami Heat, but had concerns about playing alongside Jimmy Butler.

For much of the summer, Mitchell was linked to a trade with the New York Knicks (and, evidently, the Heat), before the Cavaliers stepped in and ultimately pried the All-Star away from Salt Lake City.

Knicks-Cavs Matchup Full of Popcorn Value

Given that history, a Knicks-Cavs playoff matchup could provide many intriguing storylines. And as the season winds down, it’s looking more and more likely that such a matchup will actually happen.

Already nicknamed the “Donovan Mitchell Bowl,” Dan Favale of Bleacher Report named a Cavaliers-Knicks matchup as the eighth-most exciting possible showdown.

In a similar fashion to the Allen deal, the Cavaliers managed to land Mitchell over the summer, despite Knicks fans practically already printing Mitchell’s name on the back of jerseys.

But as Chris Fedor of cleveland.com noted, the “Mitchell Bowl” has more to offer than just history.

“Tantalizing individual matchups galore are peppered throughout this prospective series, which could reasonably take place during the first round in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 spot. Julius Randle vs. Evan Mobley. Jarrett Allen vs. Mitchell Robinson. Isaac Okoro vs. Jalen Brunson,” Favale wrote.

Depending on who you ask, however, the Cavs might have another New York team in mind as its preferred playoff matchup. According to Fedor, the Cavs are hoping to see the Brooklyn Nets during the postseason.

But with the Nets seemingly locked into the No. 7 seed, the Cavs would have to make a serious push (and hope for some late-season luck) to climb the East’s standings to face the Nets in round one.

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