Excitement building as Cavaliers open training camp | Jeff Schudel

Sep. 24—This is a great time to be a fan of Cleveland's pro sports teams. The Guardians are closing in on the A.L. Central Division crown, the Browns have the weekend off before playing their fourth game and the Cavaliers open their training camp on Sept. 27.

Not since 2014 when LeBron James returned for his second stint with the Cavs has there been so much buzz around Cleveland's basketball team. They surprised the entire NBA by winning 44 games last season after winning only 22 in 2020-21, and then they grabbed headlines by acquiring All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz.

Mitchell did not come cheaply. The Cavaliers sent forward Lauri Markkanen, wing Ochai Agbaji, guard Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks (2025, 2027 and 2029) and two pick swaps (2026 and 2028) to the Jazz for Mitchell.

The price was steep, but Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman knew he could not stay stagnant and make the leap to compete with Milwaukee, Boston and Miami in the stacked NBA East.

"Probably one of the biggest trades in franchise history," Altman said at Mitchell's introductory news conference. "He's high-character, high intellect and he's about team and about winning. We knew he would fit this culture."

It is worth noting how Altman has rebuilt the Cavaliers since James left in free agency after the 2018 season to sign with the Lakers. Cleveland is not a destination for NBA free agents, so Altman drafted Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley. He got center Jarrett Allen in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets and now he has landed Mitchell. Kevin Love was acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 2014 trade before Altman started running the show. Altman also traded for guard/small forward Caris LeVert.

"The love I've received since I've been here, the love the team has received stands out," Mitchell said.

"As coaches, we have all these grand ideas," Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. "It goes to another level when you think about the offense we can put on the floor."

The preseason begins for the Cavaliers only eight days after training camp begins. The Cavs are in Philadelphia on Oct. 5 and then host preseason games against the 76ers on Oct.10 and the Atlanta Hawks two nights later before ending the preseason Oct. 12 in Orlando.

The regular season starts on Oct. 19 in Toronto. The Cavs open their home schedule at 7 pm. Oct. 23 against the Washington Wizards.

I didn't know that

... until I read my Snapple bottle cap.

Baboons were once trained by Egyptians to wait on tables. ... There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on Earth. ... The ostrich produces a booming noise, often mistaken for a lion's roar. ... Sea otters hold each other's paw while sleeping so they don't drift apart. ... A 15-year-old boy named Chester Greenwood invented earmuffs in 1873. His hometown of Farmington, Maine, holds an Earmuff Parade on the first Saturday of every December in his honor. ... Venus is the only planet to rotate clockwise.