Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is widely recognized as one of the most explosive offensive guards in the NBA. Given his reputation, it comes as no surprise that he is expected to be one of the most sought-after free agents in the summer of 2025. This potential situation raises concerns for the Cavs.
Multiple reports have linked Mitchell to the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. It is highly likely that both teams will aggressively pursue him in 2025. According to former teammate Joe Ingles, Mitchell has expressed a desire to play in New York.
If Ingles’ statement holds true, it adds another factor suggesting that Mitchell may leave the Cavs after the 2024-25 season.
Will the Cavs entertain the idea of trading Donovan Mitchell?
This situation puts Cleveland in a precarious position, as Mitchell may not request a trade and could potentially leave for nothing as a free agent in 2025. However, it is unlikely that the Knicks would be able to sign him outright, so they may explore the possibility of a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers.
From Cleveland’s perspective, a sign-and-trade would be preferable since it would ensure they receive some compensation for their star player. Nevertheless, losing him to another team in the Eastern Conference could be detrimental. With the improvement of other Eastern Conference teams, Cleveland’s chances of reaching the Conference Finals would be compromised.
This puts immense pressure on the Cavs to have deep playoff runs in the upcoming seasons in order to convince Mitchell to stay. Conversely, if Mitchell has already made up his mind, it might be in Cleveland’s best interest to move him prior to the deadline, with hopes of securing more assets than they would receive in a sign-and-trade.
Inevitably, as rumors continue circulating about Mitchell’s potential move to the Knicks, it becomes increasingly probable that the upcoming season will be his last in Cleveland. Although circumstances can change, and a successful season could sway him to stay, the Cavs seem to face an uphill battle in retaining him.
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