The NBA offseason is always a time of uncertainty, where teams and players alike make crucial decisions that can shape the league’s landscape for years to come. One such decision has recently made headlines: Donovan Mitchell’s reported reluctance to sign a contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the young guard still has three years remaining on his current deal, this news has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions among basketball enthusiasts.
The 27-year-old’s contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers is a topic of interest for many reasons. Currently in the second year of his tenure with the Cavaliers, he still has three years left in his deal. Notably, there’s a player option attached for the 2025-26 season.
In terms of financials, Mitchell’s salary is set to make a significant impact on the Cavaliers’ salary cap. For the upcoming 2023-24 season, his cap hit is a substantial $33.1 million, and it will further increase to $35.4 million in the following season, 2024-25. These figures not only demonstrate the value the Cavaliers place on Mitchell but also the financial commitment they’ve made to him.
Impactful inaugural season
Mitchell’s debut season with the Cleveland Cavaliers was nothing short of impressive. After spending his first five years in the league with the Utah Jazz, ‘Spida’ brought his scoring prowess and leadership to the Cavaliers. He recorded a career-high 28.3 points per game, establishing himself as a cornerstone of the team’s offense. One key highlight was that blistering 71-point performance in January 2023.
Moreover, the reliable presence played a pivotal role in the Cavaliers achieving a respectable 51-31 slate in the regular season. Such marked the franchise’s best record in 28 years outside the LeBron James-led seasons.
Despite their regular-season success, though, the Cavaliers had disappointing 2023 postseason. Their journey was abruptly cut short when they were upset by the New York Knicks in the first round and lost, 4-1. The premature exit was undoubtedly a setback for both Mitchell and the Cavaliers, leaving them hungry for redemption.
Can the offseason moves eventually sway Mitchell?
The Cavaliers were quick to respond to their playoff disappointment with an eventful offseason. They aimed to build a roster that could contend in the Eastern Conference and, in doing so, hoped to secure Mitchell’s long-term commitment to the franchise.
One significant move was the drafting of Emoni Bates out of Eastern Michigan University, an exciting prospect with immense potential. Bates fell to the second round after an up-and-down college career. However, he is now seen as a possible steal with how he performed in the 2023 summer league.
Additionally, the team re-signed swingman Caris LeVert, who also had a positive impact with the Cavaliers last season. They also added stretch power forward Georges Niang, and snagged Max Strus in a sign-and-trade from the Miami Heat, a good enough defender who can also spread the floor with his outside shooting – both acquisitions can aid the team’s three-point woes, and are essential weapons in today’s game.
While Mitchell and the Cavaliers have time on their side to work out the details of a contract extension, the franchise and city are ultimately hoping for a deep playoff run at the very least. That, arguably more than anything, will be a factor in the star scorer’s decision. We’ve seen it time and again.
As such, the 2023-24 campaign is bound to be a year-long, nail-biter for Cavs Nation. This coming season can make or break the front office’s chances of luring Mitchell into staying in Cleveland. It should be intense for the fans to approach every contest as if it’s a playoff game.