Georges Niang makes educated guess about Donovan Mitchell’s Cavs future

5 Min Read
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Georges Niang recently revealed an important scoop related to Donovan Mitchell’s future with the team.

“I don’t like speaking on other people’s futures,” Niang said. “But, from the vibes that I get around here and from when I was with him in Utah and our experiences over there, I would lean towards him being a Cavalier for a long time. And that’s just my personal thought. That has nothing to do with what he’s gonna do ’cause he’s his own person, but I think he genuinely enjoys this organization, the situation that he’s in and how it can continue to help grow his career and his ability to win.”

Niang continued and talked about a conversation he had with Mitchell soon after he signed a three-year deal with the Cavaliers in the 2023 offseason.

“When I first got here and I got to sit down and talk with him — face to face, obviously we’ve talked on the phone before that — but he was essentially just like, ‘I really think we can do it here, and I wanna continue to keep building pieces here to continue to try and win,'” Niang said. “And I know he’s under contract, but I think he’s gonna be here for a long time. And I think that hat will be staying on.”

Mitchell’s future with the Cavaliers has been called into question at times in the 2023-24 regular season. In November of last year, a former teammate of Mitchell in Joe Ingles said that he will play for the New York Knicks at some point during his NBA career.

“This is like non-bias, no outside info, I think he’ll play for New York one day, whether that’s sooner or later,” Ingles said. “I think it would be great for New York and I think it would be great for him. Whether or not that actually happens we’ll wait and see.”

Also, back in December, Mitchell shot down a question on his future.

“My job is to focus on this,” Mitchell said, cutting off the question. “We have two guys that are out, so I’m not answering anything. And no disrespect. I appreciate that you have to ask the question, but I’m not going there with any of those questions. My focus is on these guys being out, us trying to find a way to get wins.”

The 27-year-old hasn’t been a consistent presence in the Cavaliers’ lineup in his second season with the team, as he has missed 20 games so far and is averaging 27.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game on 46.8 percent shooting from the floor and 37.3 percent from 3-point range.

He has been sidelined since suiting up in Cleveland’s matchup against the Houston Rockets — whose current winning streak of seven games is tied with the Boston Celtics for the longest active winning streak in the NBA — on March 16, when he logged 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal on 4-of-13 shooting from the field and and 3-of-8 from 3-point range.

Earlier in the week, Mitchell underwent medical treatment for a nasal fracture.

The Cavaliers have experienced mixed results over their last two games without Mitchell. On the bright side, Cleveland earned a five-point victory against Tyrese Haliburton, Pascal Siakam and the Indiana Pacers on March 18.

But two days after beating the Pacers, Cleveland lost to the Miami Heat by three points thanks in part to some clutch buckets from Heat guard Terry Rozier in the fourth quarter.

Cavaliers fans might breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing Niang’s comments on Mitchell’s future with the franchise.

Cleveland will hope to get back in the win column when the team faces off against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. The Timberwolves boast a 47-22 record on the season but have won just five out of their last 10 contests.

Share This Article
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.