Following another failed year, the Cavs would likely postpone their desire to extend Donovan Mitchell, recognizing his path forward might end in a new destination than Cleveland.
The Knicks were notorious in their hopes to pick up Mitchell in 2022, only to be outbid by the Cavaliers. Mitchell became extension eligible this summer, though he publicly announced he will not sign a contract extension this year, holding off at least until next summer. He cited that this year he is solely focused on playing winning basketball. It is not the most ideal response, but he will also be able to sign a longer, more profitable extension if he waits.
Should the Cavs fail again, those extension discussions will not go as planned. Though the plans currently are to resume discussions next offseason, a disappointing end to the season would once again push these talks into the future. Instead, the discussions may revolve around convincing Mitchell not to request a trade.
As for Mitchell, he had his best season of his career after joining the Cavs, earning his first All-NBA Second Team appearance and averaging a career-high 28.3 points per game. The 27-year-old star is just now beginning to enter his prime, but a disappointing Cavaliers team may seem poised not to maximize his prime years, but squander them.
In the end, this season will be a crucial year for Cleveland basketball. The future is not written in stone, and the Cavaliers have the chance to write themselves into the history books once again, less than a decade after their lone 2016 championship. Otherwise, the new-look Cavaliers could look drastically new once again.