Donovan Mitchell’s Uncertain Future with the Cleveland Cavaliers


The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to a decent start to their 2023 campaign, winning three of their first seven and looking to begin a run in the NBA’s In-Season Tournament. Cleveland was able to bring in some solid new talent to build on a successful 2022 season. Last year, the Cavaliers rolled out their new big four, boasting a new core of Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. In their first season together the Cavaliers won 51 games but were ultimately trumped in the first round of playoffs in a quick five games versus the New York Knicks.

Following the Cavaliers’ playoff exit, reports began swirling that Donovan Mitchell had desires to be a New York Knick. Other reports stated that Mitchell just didn’t want to stay in Cleveland. After the season’s conclusion, Mitchell’s camp announced that they would not engage in contract extension talks until after the new season had ended. This is likely to keep the team’s focus on winning games and making a deep playoff run.

Cleveland has a few options on approaching Mitchell’s future with the team.

Donovan Mitchell Blockbuster Trade

The Cavaliers have the option and the assets to make a move involving Donovan Mitchell and could look to pull off a big trade.

Philadelphia, Miami and New York are all teams looking to add another star and have assets to make a deal. Cleveland could add players like Tyler Herro, R.J. Barrett or Tyrese Maxey and remain ‘in-stride’ with their current talent level. This isn’t saying the Cavs would be the same team without Mitchell but they do have the chemistry and culture in place to make a player of those calibers work.

Obviously Cavaliers fans would be sad to see Donovan Mitchell go and a trade would likely be the furthest thing on Altman’s mind when assessing Mitchell’s future in Cleveland.

Raising Re-Sign Interest

The most favorable and likely route for the Cavaliers is simply to entice Donovan Mitchell to stay in Cleveland. Cleveland isn’t a big basketball market by any means, but they do have the ability to keep him by keeping the roster competitive and keeping contract rebuttals to a minimum.

The Cavaliers do possess solid assets to keep the roster bolstered with talent to keep them in contention. As it stands, Cleveland has a solid foundation and place and will likely keep the rotation intact. We could see a move made if a player on the Cavaliers’ radar is made available for trade or via free agency.

Cleveland has solid trade pieces in Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro and Dean Wade. The Cavaliers have made it known they intend to keep these pieces but anything could happen if the right deal presents itself.

Bringing sights back to the Cavaliers’ current situation, the team looks very talented and versatile. Though it’s just a small sample size, this team looks ready to make a deep playoff push and keep their talented core intact.

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