Report: Cavs hit with double dose of devastating news amid flurry of rumors

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Garland and Evan Mobley reportedly each will be out for several weeks, two more devastating blows to the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers as they deal with recent trade rumors involving Donovan Mitchell.

Mobley has not played since Dec. 6, and Garland was injured Thursday in a 116-107 loss to the Boston Celtics, a third straight defeat that dropped the Cavs’ record to 13-12 this season.

That disappointing mark has led to speculation that Cleveland may soon be open to entering the trade market. A report from earlier Friday said that the Chicago Bulls raised the idea of pursuing Garland in a deal involving Zach LaVine.

In addition, Mitchell could emerge as a trade target of other teams as the Cavs’ season continues to spiral downward. The 27-year-old star was vocal in his disappointment following the loss on Thursday, saying they “gotta pick this s— up.”

Speaking on Friday, one NBA source expressed a dismal view of the Cavs’ current status.

“I have no idea what the hell is going on there,” the source told Heavy Sports. “… But it ain’t good.”

Cleveland entered the 2023-24 campaign with high hopes after winning 51 regular season games last season to earn its first playoff berth since 2018. But the season has been sputtering in part because of various injuries to Garland, Mitchell, Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Each of those starters has missed at least four games so far.

Now the Cavs will be without Garland and Mobley for many more games. LaVine also is sidelined by foot soreness, and his return to action is unknown. So a possible trade of him for Garland would not immediately solve Cleveland’s increasing problems.

The issues surrounding Mitchell are further off in the future, but approaching quickly at the same time. In his second season with Cleveland, he has yet to commit to the organization for the long term with a new contract extension, so the Cavs may have to face a hard truth and move on at some point.

It seemingly was too early to deem the 2023-24 campaign a lost season for the Cavaliers, but long-term injuries to two of their top players change that somewhat. With the outlook for a rebound now diminished, big changes seemingly cannot be ruled out.

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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.