How a Mobley leap could make a difference for Mitchell
Mitchell has made Cleveland his new home since being traded to the Cavaliers from the Utah Jazz last summer, and he’s made it well-known how much he’s loved being with the Cavs and his teammates like Garland, Mobley and others. He’s endeared himself to the Cleveland fanbase, too.
However, while some of the fan criticism about his New York loyalty with him from that area and raving about Madison Square Garden might be a bit exaggerated, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic (subscription required) recently reported how people around the league do believe Mitchell will sign with the Knicks when he becomes a free agent.
Mitchell was nearly acquired by the Knicks last offseason via trade, and perhaps he could end up going to them in two years, when he can be a free agent. He has two years left on his deal with a player option following that for 2025-26.
The going home thing is the obvious seller there, but Mitchell has shown his love for Cleveland and his Cavs teammates. And despite him touching on the home selling element with Mitchell as well, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com has been consistent with his reporting about how winning is the most important thing for Mitchell.
To that point, if Mobley takes the third-year leap many seem to believe he can make, that’d not only go a long way for Cleveland’s outlook and contention status, but maybe it could lead to Mitchell being sold on possibly re-signing long-term down the line.
Conversely, by the time of Mitchell potentially becoming a free agent or if Cleveland were to trade him at some point, if Mobley is clearly “the guy” for the Cavaliers, they could find ways to build around him and Garland by then. So it might not matter as much playoff-wise, if things were to play out that way.
Either way, the 2023-24 campaign is going to have a ton of bearing for the long-term outlook of the Wine and Gold, who have to respond to their early playoff exit.