Report: Rival NBA execs monitoring Donovan Mitchell’s happiness on Cavs

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Rival NBA executives are allegedly monitoring star guard Donovan Mitchell’s happiness on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Rival NBA executives are monitoring Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell’s happiness in Cleveland,” Michael Scotto wrote. “Mitchell is signed through next season before a $37 million player option for the 2025-26 season, which many around the league expect him to eventually decline.

“Cleveland wants to sign Mitchell to a long-term contract down the line and is in no rush to move him after making offseason moves to improve the team around him and the team’s core, including the offseason additions of his former [Utah] Jazz teammate Georges Niang and former [Miami] Heat sharpshooter Max Strus.”

The guard was acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade before the start of the 2022-23 regular season. The Cavaliers traded Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen — who has blossomed into a star with the Jazz — Ochai Agbaji, a pair of pick swaps and three first-round picks to the Jazz in exchange for the four-time All-Star.

While Mitchell has appeared in just 13 of the Cavaliers’ 18 games so far this season, he has picked up right where he left off after enjoying arguably the best season of his career last season. He is averaging 28.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from behind the 3-point line.

The 27-year-old put together possibly his best performance of the season in the team’s In-Season Tournament win over Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 28. He finished with 40 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the floor and 9-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line. Plus, he racked up 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block in the Cavaliers’ 23-point victory.

The Cavaliers having a successful season from a collective standpoint could go a long way toward convincing Mitchell to stick around in Cleveland for the long haul.

Thus far, the Cavaliers have had an up-and-down season. After struggling out of the gate, the team has won seven of its past 10 games and is above .500 at 10-8.

The Cavaliers still have a lot of winning left to do if they want to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Cleveland currently holds the No. 8 seed in the conference, which means that if the season ended today, it would participate in the play-in tournament.

How the Cavaliers fare over the next few months seemingly has the potential to greatly impact Mitchell’s future with the team. If the Cavaliers continue to hover around .500 for the next few months, it’s possible that Mitchell’s name will get thrown around in trade rumors.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.