With about a month to go before the start of training camp across the NBA, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell is still the subject of trade rumors.
The New York Knicks have been the team most linked to and interested in Mitchell, while the Miami Heat have also reportedly had interest in the three-time All-Star.
There were some rumors that the Cleveland Cavaliers also wanted to get in on the Mitchell sweepstakes, but they are reportedly out of the running now.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers have removed themselves from Mitchell trade talks, per SNY sources,” wrote Ian Begley of SportsNet New York. “The Cavs and Jazz had touched base recently on a Mitchell trade.”
This may be the right move for a Cavs team that has a very bright future as is.
The Cavaliers Have Their Core Set For The Future
Going into last season, most observers expected Cleveland to finish under .500, given how young and underdeveloped its team looked.
But Darius Garland broke out and became a legitimate All-Star, averaging 21.7 points and 8.6 assists per game, and he started getting major recognition for his ball-handling and passing skills.
Darius Garland's passing is absolutely elite, what a play pic.twitter.com/wVr8uA3hlw
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) November 30, 2021
The Cavs finished 44-38 behind Garland’s exploits, and they came within minutes of reaching the playoffs, as they blew a lead in their second play-in tournament game versus the Atlanta Hawks.
The team also enjoyed improvement from big man Jarrett Allen, who got his own first-time All-Star bid by averaging 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, while rookie Evan Mobley flashed his immense potential.
Cleveland also has guard Collin Sexton, a very skilled scorer who missed most of the season with a knee injury, but put up 24.3 points a game the year prior.
Darius Garland's live dribble passing is dazzling (awesome stunt for the steal by Mobley) pic.twitter.com/5eMSuE6uNd
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) December 6, 2021
He is a restricted free agent right now, and both sides are not close to agreeing to a new contract.
Sexton may have to end up playing on the team’s qualifying offer this coming season, which would make him an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Many feel the Cavs will make the playoffs this season and possibly even get past the first round of the playoffs, two things they haven’t done since 2018, LeBron James‘ final season with the team.
With all the promising talent they have, there is no reason they should jettison any of it for a player like Mitchell who is very good and explosive but not quite a superstar.
What Could A Mitchell Trade Look Like For Cleveland?
First of all, given that the Jazz are reportedly asking for the NBA equivalent of Lake Erie in return for Mitchell, it’s questionable whether such a package would’ve been enough to land him.
Even if it would’ve been, Mitchell and Garland likely wouldn’t have been a backcourt that would’ve worked.
Both are ball-dominant players who don’t play well off the ball, and both are 6-foot-1, which would’ve posed problems on the defensive end.
The Cavs are absolutely right to stick with their young core and move forward with confidence.