The 2024 offseason figures to be a very crucial one for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are looking to keep Donovan Mitchell for the long haul, and it looks like all their major team decisions will be made with the intention of convincing him to re-up in Cleveland. And in the event that Mitchell commits his long-term future to the Cavs, Darius Garland could very well see himself being on the move, as he’ll be relegated even further to second-fiddle duties should he remain partnered with Mitchell in the backcourt for the foreseeable future.

Thus, expect trade rumors involving Garland to remain prominent through this offseason as well as the next few years if the Cavs do decide to keep the 24-year old point guard in town for the 2024-25 season. Should Garland formally land on the trade block, expect the San Antonio Spurs to be one of the teams to throw their hat in the ring for his services, as “they are very interested” to bring in the former All-Star to pair him up with Victor Wembanyama, according to Hoop Wire’s NBA source.

The Spurs, however, won’t be alone in the Darius Garland sweepstakes should push come to shove. One of the teams commonly brought up to be in the running for the Cavs guard is the Minnesota Timberwolves, while the Los Angeles Lakers, as per usual, could be involved as well. The Atlanta Hawks were brought up as well as a potential trade partner, with Trae Young going to the Cavs in return.

Garland’s stock may have dipped from his All-Star campaign two years ago, but it’s important to note that he is only 24 years of age. He should only be entering the prime years of his career. He has shown immense potential as a lead guard, which explains why many teams will be willing to go all out should the Cavs put him on the trade block.

Darius Garland has stagnated over the past two seasons

At age 22, Darius Garland emerged as a dynamic lead guard for the Cavs, and he even made an All-Star team in the process. The Cavs may have missed the playoffs after a rough end to that campaign, but Garland still averaged 21.7 points and 8.6 assists across 68 games, and there was plenty of reason to expect that he could soon bump those numbers up even further.

However, the Cavs brought Donovan Mitchell in in 2023; while Cleveland improved and made it to the playoffs, as a top-half seed, no less, it cast Garland aside and forced him to play second-fiddle. He averaged 21.6 points and 7.8 assists in 2023, which were still great numbers, but Mitchell’s arrival meant fewer touches for someone the franchise once viewed as its cornerstone.

Darius Garland’s usage dropped even further this past season, and he never really got any sort of rhythm going. Due to a myriad of injuries, Garland put up a season that was more in line with his sophomore campaign. Now, his second season in the league wasn’t exactly bad, but that meant that instead of improving, he was stagnating. Garland also had his fair share of efficiency and turnover problems, and in the postseason, those troubles continued to plague him.

Garland’s huge contract kicked in at the start of the 2023-24 season, which meant that a decline in production was always going to be disappointing. The Cavs are now pondering whether or not it would be worth it to tie up a considerable amount of cap space to an undersized, if talented, backcourt, as Donovan Mitchell is due for a huge extension soon.

But with some changes coming the Cavs’ way, it may be best for them not to jump the gun and wait for the dust to settle on other pressing matters before deciding on a course of action regarding Garland’s future.

Cavs’ head coaching search continues

The Cavs, despite winning 99 games combined over the past two seasons, even making it to the second round of the playoffs in 2024, decided to go in another direction after relieving JB Bickerstaff of his head coaching duties.

The main candidates to fill the Cavs’ coaching vacancy are Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego, while they are also eyeing assistant coaches who have been performing well, such as Minnesota Timberwolves’ Micah Nori, New York Knicks’ Johnnie Bryant, and Miami Heat’s Chris Quinn.

Perhaps a new coach could reinvigorate Darius Garland’s career and get him back to his All-Star trajectory. But the Cavs are doing their due diligence, especially when the next head coach they’ll be hiring will go a long way towards deciding whether or not they can sustain a stay atop the Eastern Conference standings.