Hard Question No. 2: How long do they hold onto Donovan Mitchell?
The Cleveland Cavaliers made a massive swing 16 months ago, trading for Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. They spent five drafts worth of picks plus multiple talented players because they saw an upside with Mitchell leading the way, and their downside was mitigated by Darius Garland and Evan Mobley being young and under contract for a long time.
Despite the fluke injuries, the floor is there as Mobley and Garland continue to improve. The problem is that the upside hasn't yet been realized; Cleveland won 51 games last year but, as was previously mentioned, was punked right out of the playoffs. Now they're barreling toward another postseason where the Cavs shouldn't expect to be favored in a first-round series.
There are a myriad of voices calling for the Cavaliers to trade Mitchell now, to maximzie his value on the trade market and take advantage of a weak market to make Mitchell the prize player for teams to pursue. The Cavs have been adamant that they aren't moving Mitchell this season...so when will they be open to it?
If Mitchell comes to the team and tells them he isn't re-signing, that will make this decision for them. What if he doesn't? Will the Cavaliers trade him this summer, especially if this season ends up lost because of the injury absences? Do they risk him walking for nothing simply to take one last crack at the playoffs with no track record to support a dream of contention?
If the Cavaliers won't trade Mitchell next summer, then they're barreling toward a franchise disaster. If they know that they will, then do they really think something will happen this season to change the calculus? Every report has been that Mitchell won't re-sign in Cleveland; shouldn't the Cavs maximize the return if they know he isn't sticking around?
It's a difficult question, and the Cavs have been robbed of the information to make it properly.