The Cleveland Cavaliers are entering the difficult part of a contending team’s lifespan. A few years ago, they were the up-and-comers, the surprise team that made the playoffs and are on an upward trajectory. Now, though, things have changed. Expectations have changed. Instead of just a playoff berth, fans and the front office are both looking for results. That unfortunately has not come yet for the Cavs.

After a second-round loss to the Boston Celtics, there are whispers about what will happen to the Cavs this offseason. The Donovan Mitchell trade rumors never ended, and there are even reports about Darius Garland potentially requesting a trade. In addition, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are two pieces that have garnered a lot of trade attention.

However, it seems like for the meantime, the Cavs are not quite willing to give up on this core yet. Cleveland is reportedly disinterested in listening to trade offers for any of their four key players, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports.

“Cleveland, however, has not been truly keen on entertaining rival teams’ offers for Allen, sources said, as the shot-blocker and rim-runner developed a strong on-court connection with Donovan Mitchell during a stretch of winning 17 of 18 games this winter — largely without Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. The Cavs don’t appear very motivated to listen to trade inquiries for any member of their core four, sources said, even with the possibility that Garland’s representation at Klutch Sports could move to request a trade if Mitchell extends long term.”

The Cavs clearly believe that this core has what it takes to be the best in the league. When they were healthy, they could go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the league. Unfortunately, the Cavs got pretty banged up during their playoff run. Allen was injured for the entirety of their final series against the Celtics. In the last few games of the series, Mitchell got injured as well.

Cavs’ tough decisions

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives to the basket against Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) during the first quarter of game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Kia Center.

© Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavs are in a bit of a pickle right now. Obviously, Mitchell is the star of the show, and he’s the main driving force behind the team’s success. Cleveland wants to keep Mitchell around. However, there’s a rumor that should the Cavs successfully keep Mitchell, Garland will want out of the team. They’re hoping it doesn’t happen, but it’s a very real possibility that they need to prepare for.

In addition, the Cavs need to make some decisions regarding their twin tower duo. Mobley suffered some regression last season with regards to his offense, but his defense remained strong. As for Allen, he’s still an elite shot-blocker and rebounder, and he’s a pretty good vertical threat. They will need to decide if this group is worth keeping together.

It will certainly be interesting where the Cavs try to go next season. Aside from the Celtics’ dominance in the East, the conference is open for the taking. All they need is just one good run in the playoffs to dismantle their opponents. Who will be around for that run, though?