The 3 Cavaliers players that are under the most pressure next season

Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images
Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Donovan Mitchell

Some might think I am crazy for putting Mitchell on this list, but hear me out. Mitchell had an amazing regular season. He had a 71-point game, averaged a career-high in points per game (28.3), a career-high in field goal percentage (48.4), and was selected to the All-NBA Second Team, although he had an argument to be on the First Team. Unfortunately, Mitchell was among a litany of Cavs that underperformed in the playoffs.

His numbers on the surface do not look bad, as he averaged 23/5/7 on 43% shooting. However, he only shot 29% from three-point range, and averaged four turnovers per game. Mitchell has a reputation of being one of the more elite postseason performers in the NBA, but he was a shell of himself these past playoffs and suffered yet another first-round exit.

While the Cavaliers were a young team in the postseason for the first time, there is no excuse for Mitchell’s underperformance. For a player of his caliber, he is judged based on his postseason performance. The regular season stuff is cute, but that doesn’t really matter. Postseason success matters a lot more.

If the Cavs flame out in the postseason again next year, and Mitchell has another underwhelming postseason, then his place among the top players in the NBA comes into question. The Cavaliers did not give up the blockbuster package they did for first-round exits. They did it so they could compete for a championship. Now the pressure is on Mitchell to deliver.

Next. 3 goals for the Cleveland Cavaliers 2023 offseason. dark

These three guys need to perform at a high level in order for Cleveland to get over the hump and become true championship contenders in the Eastern Conference next season. Otherwise, they will be back in the same spot next year and there will be more questions than answers.