The Cleveland Cavaliers are out of the NBA Playoffs and all the chatter since being eliminated by the Boston Celtics is the future of Donovan Mitchell. Trade buzz is surrounding the superstar, who is eligible to sign an extension this summer. While there’s been belief he might not put pen to paper, the Cavs are optimistic he’ll do so, Brian Windhorst reported.

Via Marc Stein:

“My longtime former teammate Brian Windhorst said this week on ESPN’s Hoop Collective podcast that the Cavaliers are “very optimistic” behind the scenes that they will secure Mitchell’s contract extension this summer.

They can only hope such optimism proves justified. For all the rising chatter about coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s dwindling job security and the growing belief that either Allen and Darius Garland (or both) could be dealt before next season, there is unmistakable pressure on the Cavaliers’ front office first and foremost until Mitchell commits, all thanks to what they gave up to get him.”

Bickerstaff’s job isn’t exactly secure, but Mitchell has long been a supporter of him being the Cavs head coach. If the organization wants to keep its star player happy, it would make sense to keep Bickerstaff.

Stein made a point as to why signing Spida now is priority:

“Without a Mitchell contract extension this summer, Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman faces two not-so-palatable choices. Letting Mitchell play out the 2024-25 season without trading him would enable Mitchell to head for free agency in the summer of 2025 by declining his 2025-26 player option; trading him before next season would potentially bring back less than Cleveland surrendered to acquire him and would almost certainly have to be done with considerable input from Mitchell on the destination because he’s so close to free agency.”

Mitchell staying with Cavs?

To be brutally honest, there’s really no reason for Mitchell to want a trade and he’s made it clear he’s happy in Cleveland. Despite the second round exit, the Cavs are built for long-term success with a great core. Darius Garland, Spida, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen form it, although the latter may be gone this summer. Regardless, there’s youth and the backcourt of Mitchell and Garland is a scary one. Sure, they haven’t won a title and that’s why Spida came here. But, these things take time and they’re on the right track.

As Stein mentioned, Mitchell can decline his $37 million player option in 2025-26 and become a free agent or he could sign a more lucrative deal next summer rather than in the coming weeks/months. Plus, what would the Cavs get from trading him? They gave up so much in order to acquire Mitchell. It’s doubtful they’d get as much in return from another team.

Mitchell isn’t a problem. He’s the leader of this group, their best player, and a cold-blooded scorer. Altman being optimistic about signing him to an extension should have Cleveland fans smiling from ear to ear because keeping Spida is 100% the biggest priority of this crucial offseason for the Cavs.