The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2024 offseason looking at two major items on their priority list. One of which involves trying to get star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell’s signature on a contract extension. The other concern was finding a new head coach following the Cavs’ firing of JB Bickerstaff.

The latter has apparently been addressed already, with Cleveland reportedly choosing Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson as the successor to Bickerstaff. That also means that New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego’s dreams of coaching the Cavs have reached an end.

Which brings us back to Mitchell, who should now get increased attention from the Cavs, with the coaching situation finally sorted out.

Mitchell doesn’t have to sign a new deal to keep playing for the Cavs, but he also has only two remaining years on his current contract, which he carried with him when he was traded by the Utah Jazz to Cleveland back in 2022. He could also end up hitting the free agent market as soon as 2025 if if decides against picking up his player option for the 2025-26 NBA season worth over $37 million. That is also why it’s paramount for the Cavs to get Mitchell’s signature on a new contract.

To that end, it appears that Mitchell and the Cavaliers trending in the right direction, per The Athletic.

“While the Cavs’ coaching search nears a possible conclusion, the team’s executives are set to present a four-year, $209 million maximum contract to Mitchell, team and league sources said. As for the coaching search, both Borrego and Atkinson are offensive-minded coaches who value ball movement and diversity in their attacks — things Mitchell craves.”

It is worth noting here that The Athletic published that information just before the report of the Cavs’ hiring of Atkinson came to light.

Borrego initially looked like he was going to win the coaching gig in Cleveland before the Cavs’ front office had a meeting with team majority owner Dan Gilbert, who might have liked Atkinson more.

The Cavs have urgent reason to sign Mitchell to an extension

Donovan Mitchell

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of how the Cavs came to the conclusion that Atkinson is the right man for the job, the urgency to secure Mitchell to a long-term deal remains high. Cleveland can’t just rely on the potential of Mitchell picking up the aforementioned player option. Otherwise, they could end up being forced to trade Mitchell, which isn’t too ideal of a move for Cleveland.

The Cavs already have a certified star in Mitchell, who is a five-time NBA All-Star and one of the most reliable bucket-getters in the league. He is also in the middle of his prime years, as he’s about to turn just 27 years old in September. Ensuring that Mitchell stays in The Land via a long-term extension is a sound goal for Cleveland, which finished the 2023-24 season fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 48-34 record.

In his first two seasons with the Cavaliers, Mitchell, who inked a five-year maximum extension deal with the Jazz worth $163 million in 2020, averaged 27.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals across 123 games while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from behind the arc. Although it’s big man Jarrett Allen who has led the Cavs in each of the last two seasons in terms of win shares, it’s Mitchell who is widely viewed as the best player in Cleveland.