NBA rumors: Donovan Mitchell had an amazing debut campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers this past season. In fact, one might argue that this was actually the best we’ve seen from the 6-foot-1 combo guard in his six-year NBA career.
Mitchell has three more years remaining in his current contract with the Cavs, but at this point, the four-time All-Star is now approaching a crucial decision point that will have an undeniably significant impact on his career.
NBA Rumors: Donovan Mitchell, Cavs Facing Major Decision Next Summer
The thing about Mitchell’s contract is that he has a player option on his deal for 2025-26. This means that if he wants, he could actually walk away from the Cavs two years from now as an unrestricted free agent. That is unless he is able to work out an extension with Cleveland in the near future.
According to ESPN’s NBA guru Brian Windhorst, however, there is currently no sense of urgency from both Mitchell’s camp and the Cavs in terms of a new contract. Windy reports that this could come this time next year:
“I don’t think under any circumstances he was ever considering extending this season and I think the Cavs knew that when they traded for him,” Windhorst said (h/t Francisco Rosa of Bleacher Report. “I think the pressure point comes a year from now when he’s got one year left on his contract.”
This only means that it’s going to be a big year ahead for both Mitchell and the Cavs. The 26-year-old balled out in his first season in Cleveland, and while he was able to lead the Cavs to their first postseason appearance in the post-LeBron James era, their campaign ultimately ended with a disappoinitng first-round exit at the hands of division rivals, the New York Knicks.
The Cavs are expected to do much better in 2023-24 and anything less than a trip to the East Semis, at the very least, would be considered a major letdown, and this could have some major implications on Mitchell’s contract negotiations next summer.
NBA Rumors: How Will This Impact Bucks?
The Milwaukee Bucks will want to watch this situation closely. They’re probably not going to be in the mix in the unlikely event that Mitchell and the Cavs decide to part ways next season, but if this happens, it will have some massive implications on the Central Division — and beyond.
Losing Mitchell could force the Cavs to go on a soft rebuild or they could end up acquiring a new superstar to take his place. Either way, Mitchell leaving Cleveland will send shockwaves acorss the Eastern Conference, especially if he ends up moving back to the West.
In the meantime, however, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will need to deal with a highly-motivated Donovan Mitchell-led squad this coming season.
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