Cavaliers Star ‘More Expendable’ If Donovan Mitchell Signs Max Deal: Insider

Donovan Mitchell

Getty Donovan Mitchell

From the day they acquired Donovan Mitchell, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had to think about his long-term future with the team. If Mitchell re-signs with the Cavaliers for the most money they can offer, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto revealed who the Cavaliers might trade to make room for him.

“Big picture, Cleveland’s going to have to make big financial decisions, given the upcoming luxury tax bills if Donovan Mitchell re-signs on a max contract down the line. Because if the Cavaliers re-sign Mitchell on a max contract, Jarrett Allen could become more expendable down the line, and they’re going to have to make other roster decisions,” Scotto wrote in a December 12 story.

The Cavaliers will certainly have to pay top dollar if they want to keep Mitchell. However, what would help them is keeping their playoff-contending core intact. Dan Gilbert paid good money to ensure the Cavaliers’ teams with LeBron James were contenders. Mitchell is not as good as LeBron was, but unless they can find an upgrade, keeping Allen might be in the Cavaliers’ best interest.

At the same time, even if the Cavaliers offered Mitchell a max contract, there’s no guarantee he would sign it.

Donovan Mitchell Not Expected to Re-Sign With Cavaliers

Despite the Cavaliers’ interest in keeping Mitchell, there’s not much optimism that the feeling is mutual. Action Network’s Matt Moore reported that not many around the NBA believe Mitchell will stick around.

“Everyone expects, and has expected, Donovan Mitchell to leave the Cavs in free agency. There’s conflicting belief about whether or not Mitchell has informed the Cavs of anything regarding his future. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has reported for months going on years that Mitchell will not re-sign with Cleveland,” Moore wrote in a December 12 story.

Moore added which team will covet Mitchell if the New York Knicks can’t complete a trade.

“One name I heard from multiple sources to look out for if the Knicks can’t get a deal done for Mitchell is the always-star-shopping Brooklyn Nets, who have a plethora of assets to get such a deal done,” Moore wrote.

The Cavaliers don’t have to cross this bridge, but they likely aren’t acting like it’s not there.

Insider Outlines How Cavaliers May Handle Donovan Mitchell

Despite Mitchell’s upcoming free agency looming, Scotto believes the Cavaliers will see the situation through before making any decisions.

“Cleveland obviously is going to want to keep Mitchell, and they’ll have time down the line where they can decide at any point whether they want to move him or not. Obviously, this year, they’re going to try to be as competitive as they can be with this core and the continuity that they have and go from there down the line,” Scotto wrote.

Scotto added that trading Mitchell could be a possibility, but it may not be this season.

“You could always wait until the trade deadline of his expiring contract season if you want. There’s always going to be a team interested, especially when you can acquire Bird Rights, given teams that don’t have cap space, but obviously, at that stage, the return would be less. That’s something Cleveland’s going to have to figure out.”

The Cavaliers will see if they can make more progress than they did in the first season they had Mitchell.