The Cleveland Cavaliers have a potential dilemma on their hands regarding the long-term future of Donovan Mitchell, but their recent success is making it much easier to align their current priorities. Consequently, president of basketball operations Koby Altman is unlikely to be receptive to offers ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
“With the important caveat that everything changes should Donovan Mitchell demand out (as is the case with every major star in the league), there’s a consensus the Cavs will leave Mitchell’s looming 2025 free agency and the incessant talk of his eventual desire to play in New York as a problem for their future selves this summer,” Action Network’s Matt Moore wrote.
When Cleveland lost guard Darius Garland and big man Evan Mobley to injuries back in December, it was reasonable to at least entertain a potential Mitchell trade. The team was barely above .500 and appeared to be miles away from competing with the top tier of the East. That gap has still not been bridged completely, but those conversations are starting to resume.
Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell has stepped up in face of adversity
And No. 45 is a major reason why. Although Mitchell is a perennial All-Star at this stage of his career, leading the Cavaliers to fourth place in the conference standings in the absence of Garland and Mobley is deserving of substantial praise. He is averaging 28.2 points (46.4 percent shooting), a career-high 5.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals (also career-high) per game this season.
John Patrick Postrado ·
That type of production could command a pretty penny on the trade market, but that would be counterintuitive. The Cavs acquired Donovan Mitchell in order to contend for an NBA championship. While they still have some ways to go before such a goal can be realistically envisioned, the team is finding its form.
Trading away its best player ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline would end any hope Cleveland has of sneaking into the tile picture this year, and probably 2025 as well.