Ever since the Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Donovan Mitchell in 2022, it seems like many were counting the days to his eventual departure from the team, with many rumors linking Mitchell to the New York Knicks. Now, Mitchell will be entering the final year of his contract, and talks regarding the All-NBA guard’s future and whether or not he’ll be staying with the Cavs should only heat up from here.

It remains unclear whether or not Mitchell will be signing a contract extension with the Cavs or if he’ll decide to take his chances and enter free agency in 2025. But in a positive development for the Cavs, it’s looking more and more likely that Mitchell will be staying with the team for the foreseeable future.

However, Donovan Mitchell, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, won’t be signing a full five-year max extension. Rather, “the belief” is that Mitchell will be signing a three-year extension with the Cavs to take him into his 10th professional season, which would then allow him to be eligible for a bigger contract.

The maximum the Cavs could offer Mitchell this offseason is a four-year extension worth around $200 million, which would then kick in next season, replacing the final year of his current deal (2025-26) worth $37 million. But if Mitchell’s camp demands a three-year extension, then the Cavs should have no qualms about doing so just to keep Mitchell in town. It makes sense then to put a player option for the fourth year to give Mitchell some added security.

Mitchell’s arrival has taken the Cavs from a fringe playoff team to a team that finished in the upper-half of the Eastern Conference playoff picture over the past two seasons. Only 27 years old, Mitchell is in the middle of his prime, and with the Cavs’ core still coming into its own, there is potential for Cleveland to break through in the Eastern Conference one of these years — so long as Mitchell stays.

What does a potential Donovan Mitchell extension mean for Darius Garland?

Following the Cavs’ exit from the 2024 NBA playoffs, reports came out that Darius Garland’s camp was not too pleased with how the past two seasons have gone amid Donovan Mitchell’s arrival. Garland reportedly wasn’t too keen on playing second fiddle, causing his career to stagnate following an All-Star appearance in 2022.

The Cavs, however, still believe that there is another level or two for Garland to unlock. Only 24 years old, Garland could still have some untapped potential left, and this is already a player who averaged 22-9 in a single season. Perhaps under a new coach, Garland could become a better version of himself in a backcourt with Mitchell.

Thus, even though there are trade rumors surrounding Darius Garland, the Cavs are likely to keep him in town. This idea was echoed by Scotto as well, as he said that the Cavs have ” continued to tell teams they’re not trying to move” the 24-year old point guard. Moreover, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com said that, if they were to trade Garland, they would have to be “blown away” by any prospective offer.

Garland will be entering just the second season of his huge contract extension, so there should no rush for the Cavs whatsoever to pull the plug on their All-Star backcourt. So even though Mitchell is likely to stay, expect Garland to remain in Cleveland for the foreseeable future as well.

What can the Cavs do to bolster the team even further?

One popular suggestion for the Cavs is for them to trade away Jarrett Allen to move Evan Mobley into the five. That, however, may not be such a good idea. Allen has been one of the Cavs’ best players, and he was their iron man throughout an injury-ravaged 2023-24 campaign until he couldn’t play through pain anymore in the playoffs.

Allen, in addition to being one of the best rebounders and interior threats in the game, also flashed an improve feel for playmaking. He functioned as an offensive hub for the Cavs at times, making the most of his expanded game amid the team’s injury woes.

He still has two years left on his contract, so again, the Cavs don’t have to do anything now on the Jarrett Allen trade front — even if there are some links to the New Orleans Pelicans in a potential deal for Brandon Ingram.

The Cavs should still have a few tradeable contracts if they were to pursue an upgrade this offseason, with Caris Levert making $16 million, Max Strus making $15 million, with Georges Niang and Dean Wade making $8 and $6 million respectively. They also have the 20th overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft to trade away, although they will most likely keep that selection so they could nab a potentially productive young player for cheap.

With that said, perhaps the Cavs could look at Bruce Brown as a worthwhile trade option; Brown is a proven veteran who contributed to a championship team, and he’s in the final year of his deal. He’ll be making $23 million for next year, so Cleveland could easily cobble together the necessary salary to bring him in.