Report: Cavs don’t intend to move Darius Garland despite recent rumor

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Some conflicting reports have surfaced regarding the future of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland.

Early on Wednesday, one report seemingly indicated that the Cavs were open to trading Garland.

“Does [Koby] Altman have something else up his sleeve?” wrote Sam Amico of Hoops Wire.

“Well, per several reports and Hoops Wire sources, the answer may be yes, and it may involve point guard Darius Garland. That doesn’t mean the Cavs are dying to deal Garland. It doesn’t mean they are shopping him around. But it does sound as if they’re open to it when other teams inquire.

“Some have said not to be surprised if the Cavs move Garland, a client of Cleveland native Rich Paul, perhaps the NBA’s most powerful agent.”

Cavs insider Chris Fedor later stated that the Cavs don’t intend to trade the one-time All-Star.

The issue for the Cavs with Garland could be having him and Donovan Mitchell together in the backcourt. With reports that Cleveland is looking for a “significant upgrade” in the frontcourt, Garland could be the valuable trade chip that helps them build a more well-rounded rotation. A lesser trade involving Cedi Osman or Isaac Okoro reportedly also is possible.

It would be tough to break up the pairing of Mitchell and Garland, however, after they each averaged more than 20 points per game this season.

Mitchell had one of the best seasons of his NBA career, with Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff saying the guard was a top-five player in the entire league. Garland followed up his first appearance in the NBA All-Star Game last season with a very similar statistical campaign, showing he can contribute at the same level even with Mitchell also on board.

But after the Cavaliers won 51 games in the regular season, they managed just one victory in the playoffs and were eliminated by the New York Knicks in five games in the first round. That disappointing result may have been an indication of the ceiling for a Mitchell-Garland pairing and the current roster, which could have spurred the latest round of trade rumors.

The Cavs reportedly were interested in Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, but he returned to Minnesota with a new contract.

Cleveland does have valuable pieces to build around with big men Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. The Cavaliers had only a second-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and used it to select Emoni Bates at No. 49. Bates does have some intriguing upside, with one player saying the Eastern Michigan University product is the best player in the draft.

The Cavs made a blockbuster trade late last offseason when they got Mitchell from the Utah Jazz, so perhaps there could be another headline-grabbing move this summer. However, it seems like Garland won’t be part of any big move this offseason.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.