Report: Teams around NBA believe Cavs will eventually be forced to trade Donovan Mitchell

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Teams around the NBA reportedly believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers will eventually be forced to trade star guard Donovan Mitchell.

“It would be a lie for me to say that other teams have not thought about what they could trade for Donovan Mitchell because they think that the Cavs are ultimately gonna be brought to that,” said NBA insider Brian Windhorst. “But that doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen, but if you’re asking me about what other people around the league are saying, they think that the Cavs are probably gonna be forced into that.”

Mitchell has started all 26 games that he has appeared in with the Cavaliers so far during the 2023-24 regular season and is averaging 27.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and 36.1 percent from outside the 3-point arc.

The 27-year-old was sidelined for several games in late December due to an illness but has played well since returning to the lineup against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 29, as he has scored 22 points or more in each of the team’s last four games.

Arguably Mitchell’s best performance during the stretch in question came against the Bucks, who own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference behind only the Boston Celtics. In 36 minutes of playing time, Mitchell dropped 34 points, six rebounds, nine assists, two steals and one block while shooting 14-of-23 from the field.

Despite Mitchell’s strong performance, the Cavaliers still lost to the Bucks by a final score of 119-111 behind a dominant two-way performance from Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who totaled 34 points, 16 rebounds and five assists across 37 minutes of action.

Bucks guard Damian Lillard also chipped in 31 points, four assists and two rebounds while shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 11-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Since losing to the Bucks, Mitchell and the Cavaliers have won two out of their last three games. They beat the Washington Wizards by 39 points on Jan. 3 before defeating Washington again by 24 on Friday.

At 20-15, Cleveland has the same record as the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference standings.

While there are NBA teams who seem to believe that Cleveland will eventually have to trade Mitchell, it’s hard to imagine that the Cavaliers will anytime soon if they continue to show signs of life this season.

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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.