As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to struggle, former NBA player Kendrick Perkins expressed his belief that it’s time for the team to break up the Donovan Mitchell-Darius Garland tandem.

When the Cavs traded for Mitchell from the Utah Jazz last season, there were high hopes that his pairing with fellow All-Star in Garland will lead to consistent playoff appearances and eventually allow them to contend for the title. While they were able to make the postseason in 2023, they suffered a first-round exit at the hands of the New York Knicks.

Going into the second season of the duo, along with the frontcourt pairing of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, there were higher expectations for the team. After all, with a season together under their belt, they should be able to break out and dominate.

With the playoffs coming, however, the Cavs have shown little sign that they are a much better team compared to last year. Sure, they are the third seed in the East and are in good position to claim a postseason spot. Nonetheless, they continue to struggle and have a hard time stringing dominant wins together.

Cavs lose to Lakers

Cavs center Jarrett Allen (31), guard Darius Garland (10), and guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrate

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The latest showing from the Cavs only added more fuel to the concerns about their capability to contend in the playoffs. Against the Los Angeles Lakers, JB Bickerstaff’s men were blown out 116-97.

While the Cavs did put up some fight early on, it didn’t last long. The Lakers pulled away in the third quarter and never looked back, with James (24 points), Anthony Davis (22) and D’Angelo Russell (28) all scoring 20-plus each.

For the Cavs, Donovan Mitchell struggled offensively big time, as he finished with just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Darius Garland led the way for Cleveland with 26 points, but it wasn’t the best game for him either after shooting 11-of-25 from the field and finishing with a -16 rating on the plus-minus box score.

With the loss, the Cavs have now dropped seven of their last 10 games. They are also now only half a game ahead of the fourth-seeded Orlando Magic and fifth-seeded New York Knicks.

Even if they make the playoffs, the Cavs have done little to raise hopes up that they can compete for the Larry O’Brien trophy, especially with teams like the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder separating themselves from the pack.

Kendrick Perkins wants drastic change for Cavs

As for Kendrick Perkins, after watching the Cavs’ Saturday performance, he was convinced it’s time for Cleveland to end the Mitchell-Garland experiment. On X (formerly Twitter), he shared that the Wine and Gold have to make a decision soon on who they will keep among the two.

“The Cavs need to make a choice! Because Donovan Mitchell is in Darius Garland way. I’m just saying…” Perkins wrote.

Considering that Mitchell’s future with the Cavs have been a major talking point for some time now as he has yet to reach a contract extension with the team, Perkins appears to be hinting that Cleveland should move on from the former Jazz star.

Nonetheless, Big Perk might be jumping the gun with his proposal. Mitchell is coming off a knee injury and clearly has yet to be at 100 percent. Let’s not forget that when Mitchell and Garland are healthy together on the floor, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Hopes are high that Mitchell will be fully healthy come the postseason. But for now, contrary to Perk’s suggestion, it might be in the Cavs’ best interest to be patient.