Question 3 – Can the Cavaliers convince Donovan Mitchell to commit long-term?
After just one season with the Cavaliers, the media has already exhausted every possible argument as to why Donovan Mitchell should his force way out of the best team he has ever had.
Recently, NBA Insider Tim Bontemps expressed how he believes there’s likely no way that Mitchell will ever sign an extension in Cleveland. While this comment alarmed plenty of the Cavaliers fanbase, it is no more than an overreaction to a poor playoff showing by the entire team, including Mitchell.
Bontemps has plenty of questions for the Cavs and is not expecting them to be the right fit for Mitchell’s prime years. Instead, he unsurprisingly thinks a team in the NBA’s biggest market should land the star they have coveted year after year.
Conversely, last season was a career year for Mitchell. He finished the year with 28.3 points (career-high) and 4.4 assists per game while knocking down 38.6 percent of his 9.3 3-point attempts per game. His efforts and leadership were not ignored by the league, either, being named to the All-NBA Second Team for the first time in his career.
Sometimes, a player’s greatness can go unnoticed in favor of a player on a more historic team such as the Lakers or Knicks. For Mitchell, though, his achievements are being met with accolades. Along with his All-NBA selection, Mitchell ranked sixth in MVP voting this past season.
Suggesting that Mitchell cannot thrive and succeed in Cleveland is ludicrous. The Cavaliers deserve criticism for their failure in the playoffs, but they should not panic and trade Mitchell after one year.
Every move this offseason showed a serious commitment to winning and building around their All-Star guard. Not only will the new additions help, but the ongoing development of their young stars in Evan Mobley and Darius Garland only make Cleveland a bigger threat in the East.
Thus far, the Cavs have shown Mitchell they can and will compete. Their front office has created an attractive environment for free agents, something New York has notoriously been unable to accomplish. It is important to remember that Mitchell had reportedly run around screaming for joy when he heard he was coming to Cleveland. He is not upset to be here.
If the team continues to fall below expectations, then Mitchell’s future should be in question. For now, however, the Cavs are only getting better, and Mitchell is sure to recognize this.