By all accounts, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ blockbuster trade for Donovan Mitchell in 2022 was a rousing success. Sure, the Cavs’ season ended in playoff heartbreak as they fell to the New York Knicks in five games, in the first round no less. But Mitchell’s addition made the Cavs a more tougher team to defend, giving them a legitimate superstar to take on a heavy workload on a nightly basis.
With Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen around to supplement Mitchell, it stands to reason that the Cavs will remain one of the best teams in the league — perhaps for the foreseeable future. However, nothing is guaranteed in the NBA. As the Knicks showed in the playoffs, packing the paint may cause some problems for the Cavs, even if they added noted sharpshooters Max Strus and Georges Niang in free agency.
Thus, if things go south in Cleveland, they may have to face some difficult decisions, at least according to one NBA insider. As Tim Bontemps of ESPN pointed out, the Cavs “may have to consider moving” Donovan Mitchell next offseason when he only has a year left on his deal. Mitchell has a player option for the 2025-26 season, but given how much superstars make these days, one would think he’ll be opting out in pursuit of a supermax deal.
Of course, there are no concrete indicators that the Cavs would show interest in dealing away Mitchell. Mitchell, after all, is only 26 years old, and he should remain among the league’s elite for years to come.
John Patrick Postrado ·
But there’s always a huge cost to keeping good teams together. Evan Mobley will be due a rookie max contract extension soon. Thus, it’s fair to wonder whether it’s the shrewd move for the Cavs front office to keep an expensive core of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Mobley, especially if they don’t make the requisite leap to legitimate title contention next season.
Alas, all of this is just speculation, and it’s hard to envision the Cavs willingly giving up on Mitchell especially given how crucial he has been to turning the franchise’s fortunes around.