NBA Rumors: Cavs Not ‘Very Motivated’ to Trade Donovan Mitchell, Garland, ‘Core 4’

NBA Rumors: Cavs Not ‘Very Motivated’ to Trade Donovan Mitchell, Garland, ‘Core 4’
Mike Chiari@@mikechiariX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVMay 31, 2024

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 07: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles against the Boston Celtics during Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden on May 07, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly aren’t actively looking to trade any of their top contributors following a second-round exit in the 2024 NBA playoffs.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Cavs “don’t appear very motivated” to listen to offers on any of their “Core Four,” which is comprised of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

With that group leading the way, Cleveland secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference this season with a 48-34 record, and beat the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics in the second round.

Garland, Allen and Mobley have played together since the 2021-22 season, and Cleveland made a splashy move prior to last season by acquiring Mitchell in a blockbuster trade with the Utah Jazz.

That move has largely paid dividends thus far, as the Cavaliers reached the playoffs in 2023 with a 51-31 record, marking their first postseason appearance since 2018.

This season, the Cavs won their first playoff series since 2018 and also won a playoff series without LeBron James on the roster for the first time since 1993.

Mitchell finished sixth in the NBA MVP voting in his first season in Cleveland, averaging a career-high 28.3 points per game to go along with 4.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

He was highly productive again this season with 26.6 points, 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game en route to his fifth consecutive All-Star selection, but he did miss 27 games due to injury.

Mitchell is set to enter the final year of his contract in 2024-25, and while ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst recently said on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast that Cleveland will soon offer him a $200 million contract extension, he has to be considered a trade candidate if he rejects the Cavs’ offer.

Should the Cavaliers keep Mitchell, however, Garland may become Cleveland’s top trade possibility.

Garland is signed through the 2027-28 season, but it can be argued that his skill set is somewhat redundant with Mitchell’s, and Fischer suggested that Garland’s representation could request a trade if Mitchell signs a long-term extension as a result.

All four of the Cavs’ top players are signed through at least next season, and it seems likely that the organization would want to make one more run with that group together.

The Cavaliers have been among the top teams in the Eastern Conference the past two seasons, and while they only have one playoff series win to show for it, they arguably have as good of a chance as any team to knock off the Celtics next season.

Should the entire “Core Four” return for the 2024-25 campaign, a few roster tweaks in terms of the supporting cast could make Cleveland one of the top teams to beat in the East.

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