J.B. Bickerstaff addresses constant rumors regarding Donovan Mitchell’s Cavs future

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes that star guard Donovan Mitchell is “all in” on the future of the Cavaliers despite rumors that he could leave the team in the future.

Bickerstaff addressed rumors about Mitchell not being with Cleveland for the long term in a recent interview with Cleveland.com.

“There were conversations we had with him during free agency about trying to get the people we needed in here,” Bickerstaff said. “There were conversations he had with the guys we were able to bring in. All those things tell you that Donovan is all in. If a guy is not attentive to free agency and how we are going to get better as a team, if he is not attentive to his teammates over the summer, if he is not attentive to working on the individual things that may make him uncomfortable but also are best for the team moving forward, to me that would be a guy who is not engaged. I have seen the opposite. I have seen a guy who is all in.”

It’s great to see that Mitchell is so engaged with the future of the franchise and his current teammates, especially since he is under contract with the Cavs for at least the next two seasons.

Mitchell has a player option on his deal for the 2025-26 campaign. He could decline that to become a free agent following the 2024-25 season.

Cleveland acquired Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz last offseason, and he didn’t fail to impress in his first season in a Cavs jersey. The former first-round pick averaged 28.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Mitchell made an All-NBA team in the process, and the Cavs earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the team came up short in the playoffs, losing to the New York Knicks in five games in the first round.

The Cavs have made several moves this offseason to try to avoid another first-round exit. The team re-signed wing Caris LeVert and added two solid shooters in George Niang and Max Strus.

The team executed a sign-and-trade deal for Strus, moving Lamar Stevens and Cedi Osman in the deal. The moves should help Cleveland compete for a top spot in the East once again.

The best thing the Cavs can do to convince Mitchell to stay is win, and it appears that he is all in on making that happen with this core.

For now, Bickerstaff’s words should be a welcome sight for Cavs fans ahead of the 2023-24 regular season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.