What could get Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell on All-NBA First Team in 2024?

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports /

Donovan Mitchell was one of the best players in the whole NBA last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Statistically, he had his best season as a pro, and is going into next season looking better than ever. Mitchell made All-NBA Second Team, so in theory, he had the third or fourth-best season for a guard last year.

Mitchell also dropped 71 points in overtime against the Chicago Bulls last season, which was the first time since Kobe Bryant dropping 81 points back in 2006 for a player to drop more than Mitchell’s 71. Later on in the season, Damian Lillard put up 71 points against the Houston Rockets, which was the first season in NBA history to have multiple players have 70+ points.

Mitchell is one of the best shooting guards, and overall players in the league, and has been for many seasons. He averaged 28.3 points, 4.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game last year, and also was an All-Star starter in the Eastern Conference, and the only All-Star for the Cavaliers.

Looking at the All-NBA First Team, both of the guards on that team missed the playoffs. Dallas Maverick guard Luka Dončić missed the Play-In Tournament entirely, and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander lost in the Play-In Tournament, and also was in the lottery, like Dončić.

Team success plays a part in who gets All-NBA honors, and that’s why Mitchell could have had a case in being on All-NBA First Team, over a better guard who missed the playoffs entirely. The Cavaliers were a great regular season team, which helped Mitchell’s case. Yes, even though Mitchell struggled in the playoffs, stats and success in the regular season is what determines who makes an All-NBA team, not playoff success.

How can Mitchell be an All-NBA First-teamer next season with the Cavaliers?

The NBA has a lot of guards who can all be in conversations to be on any All-NBA team. Stephen Curry, Dončić, Gilgeous-Alexander, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox, Devin Booker, James Harden, and Jaylen Brown are just a few guards who will be in competition to be an All-NBA member, but there still are plenty of other names who could be on the list.

If Mitchell continues his success, there is no reason that he cannot be a member of the All-NBA First Team in 2024. The last player to make an All-NBA squad besides Mitchell for the Cavs was LeBron James back in the 2017-18 season, the last time Cleveland even made the playoffs besides last season.

Let’s look at Dončić’s stats for last season. He averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.0 assists last year, and even while his team didn’t make the playoffs, he’s still one of the best NBA players, and has made the All-NBA First Team every season excluding his rookie season. Dončić has the resume to be one of the best NBA players of all-time, and one could even argue he could become the NBA’s GOAT, depending on how his career goes.

As for Gilgeous-Alexander, he was an All-Star for the first time in his career last year, and averaged 31.4 points, 5.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game, and was in the conversation for the Most Improved Player award for pretty much the whole season, but ultimately lost to former Cavalier Lauri Markkanen.

Donovan Mitchell could definitely get past the 30 points per game mark next season, which should not be as difficult as it sounds. Mitchell had the seventh-highest points per game average last season, and there were six players who averaged over 30 points per game last season. He definitely has the capability to average 30 points per game or even higher, but that will mean his usage percentage would have to trend upwards.

Mitchell had the eighth-highest usage percentage in the NBA last year, at 32.1 percent in total. If Mitchell wanted to average more points, he’d probably have to get a higher usage percentage. But sometimes if a player has a higher usage, it can cost team success. The Cavs play a great team style of basketball, which might mean Mitchell won’t break the 30 points per game mark, and might average less points, considering the Cavs’ recent moves from this offseason.

Team success is more important than an All-NBA selection to Mitchell, especially considering how the Cavs flamed out in the first round back in April. He definitely could be a member of the All-NBA First team if he really wants to, however, and it’s not as if he would be opposed to that recognition, in fairness. What player wouldn’t want those honors, provided they were set for a deep playoff run, of course?

If Mitchell does make the All-NBA First Team next season, it would surely be impressive, and could really give the Cavaliers some more motivation when it comes to the playoffs next year. It’s just an accolade, and Mitchell is already on track to being in the Hall of Fame, but being on an the All-NBA First Team could give him a boost in his career.

Next. Cavaliers fans are asking “What if” and they shouldn’t be. dark

Donovan Mitchell is going to be great for the Cleveland Cavaliers again next season, now all that is left is to wait until October for the season to start back up.