There has been a lot of chatter regarding Donovan Mitchell’s future with the Cleveland Cavaliers recently. Many fans and pundits have speculated that the Cavs could look to move Mitchell in a trade rather than run the risk of losing him for nothing in free agency in 2025.
However, Cleveland has no plans of moving on from the All-Star guard at this point in time, according to Jake Fisher of Yahoo! Sports. Mitchell still has one guaranteed year remaining on his current contract after this season.
“If the Cavaliers were to put Mitchell on the block tomorrow or in February before the trade deadline or next offseason, there would be a long line of suitors, the Knicks surely among them, willing to compete for his services with competitive offers,” Fischer wrote.
“The Cavaliers, though, are not prepared to consider that exit strategy. Cleveland officials have maintained a commitment to this core of four All-Star talents, according to league sources, even with all the incessant chatter among rival executives that Mitchell will inevitably bolt when he can reach the unrestricted market in 2025.”
Mitchell is in the midst of his second season in Cleveland after spending the first five seasons of his career as a member of the Utah Jazz. Mitchell made the All-Star Game during his first season with the Cavs, but Cleveland ultimately lost to the New York Knicks in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
After that postseason disappointment, there has been some increased pressure on coach J.B. Bickerstaff to lead the Cavaliers back towards the top of the Eastern Conference. However, the Cavs are in no rush to make a coaching change either, according to Fischer.
“And yet just like Cleveland’s reluctance on moving Mitchell, there doesn’t seem to be an internal hurry to address any change on the Cavs’ bench either, sources said,” Fischer wrote. “If anything, as Marc Stein noted on his Substack, the injuries to [Darius] Garland and [Evan] Mobley may actually ease any tangible pressure that was falling onto Bickerstaff’s shoulders.”
While the Cavs aren’t actively looking to move on from Mitchell or Bickerstaff, there is one player that the team is actively looking to trade: Ricky Rubio.
In August, Rubio announced that he would be putting his basketball career on hold in order to take care of his mental health. The 33-year-old was excused from participating in training camp with the Cavaliers in October, and at that time, Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman didn’t offer an exact return date for Rubio.
Now nearly two months into the season, Rubio has yet to appear in a game for the Cavaliers, and his future with the franchise is in question. As a result, the team is looking to move on from the veteran guard.
“With seven weeks remaining before the league’s Feb. 8 buzzer, the only true trade development about the Cavaliers is the team’s attempts to find a partner that will take Ricky Rubio’s contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports, so that next front office can work on a buyout of the veteran point guard’s two seasons and $12.5 million remaining on the three-year contract Rubio signed to return to the Cavaliers last July,” Fischer wrote.
Based on Fischer’s reporting, it doesn’t sound like any major changes are imminent in Cleveland. However, there’s still a whole lot of basketball left to play before the trade deadline in February, and things can change quickly in the NBA.
Fischer also mentioned that Cavs center Jarrett Allen has drummed up “plenty of interest” from playoff contenders around the league. The insider identified the New Orleans Pelicans, who were linked to Allen in the summer, as one of those teams.
If the Cavs hit a rough stretch or underperform leading up to the deadline, Cleveland’s front office could decide to make moves. As a result, the Cavs will continue to be a team to keep an eye on as the season wears on.