The Cleveland Cavaliers are leaving no doubt regarding their plans for Donovan Mitchell prior to the upcoming NBA trade deadline, with executive Koby Altman reportedly telling teams to “lose my number” on the topic.
Koby Altman to teams on potential trades: “Lose my number on Donovan Mitchell” pic.twitter.com/CUrp9zhzbW
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) January 18, 2024
ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski relayed that idea, which aligns with another recent report that the Cavs plan to ride the season out with the All-Star guard.
Mitchell has been involved in trade buzz in part because he has yet to commit to a contract extension that would keep him in Cleveland long term. But he is signed through the 2024-25 season with a player option for the 2025-26 campaign, so there certainly is no urgency for the Cavs to make a move right now.
Cleveland is looking to improve on its playoff performance from last season, when it bowed out in the first round, and keeping Mitchell is likely the best way to do that. The Cavs have been playing very well recently and will take a six-game winning streak into their game at the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Having won 11 of their past 14 games, the Cavs have a 24-15 record that is good for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference entering league play on Thursday.
In addition, the squad should soon benefit from the returns of both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley from injury. The two starters have not played in the 2024 calendar year, with Garland out with a jaw injury and Mobley recovering from knee surgery.
Instead of looking to trade away Mitchell, the Cavs reportedly are targeting players to add before the trade deadline. They recently have been linked to Brooklyn Nets forward Royce O’Neale and Atlanta Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter as they continue to look for 3-and-D help.
In his second season with the Cavs, Mitchell is averaging 28.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game in 30 appearances. He looks to be in line to be selected to the NBA All-Star Game for the fifth time.
The 27-year-old’s future may remain in doubt until he signs a new contract or expresses a desire to move on. But in the meantime, the Cavs are seemingly aiming to maximize the time they have with Mitchell, starting with the hope it will lead to a long playoff run this season.