5 Cleveland Cavaliers who definitely won't be back next season

From coaches to players, the Cleveland Cavaliers have no choice to make major changes this offseason after losing in five games to the Boston Celtics in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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1. Darius Garland is ready to move on from the Cavaliers

Perhaps the most heartbreaking news from Cleveland's playoffs loss the Charania's suggestion that Darius Garland's representative, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, will meet with the Cavaliers to discuss a new destination for Garland if Mitchell signs a contract extension this summer.

Despite Garland's underwhelming production this season, he was unlikely to leave the team this summer only two seasons after the Cavs invested the franchise's highest contract extension ever into the one-time All-Star point guard. Since Mitchell's arrival in Cleveland, Garland's role has undeniably diminished over the past two years. This season, Garland averaged 18 points, 3.7 points fewer than his All-Star season career-high average of 21.7 per game. Still, the brotherhood and friendship between the backcourt stars did not suggest any turmoil behind the scenes.

Likely, Garland's possible coming trade request is purely a business decision. Garland enjoyed the best season of his career as the lead guard after Collin Sexton's season-ending injury in the early weeks of the 2021-22 season. Garland earned his sole All-Star selection that year, but he soon found himself in a similar position with another ball-dominant small guard at his side with Mitchell. For Garland to maximize his potential and return to the best version of himself, a trade may be the only realistic option.

Seeing Garland in a new uniform next season is inevitable with Mitchell's likely extension, but the first public display of Garland playing for a new franchise will be heartbreaking for the Cleveland faithful. Garland's third-year leap kickstarted the Cavaliers' return to postseason contention, leading the team to a Play-In Tournament berth in his first year as a leader. Without Garland's growth, the Cavaliers would have never been in the position to trade for Donovan Mitchell the next offseason. Losing Garland will be a major change to the Cavaliers, but his value and potential as a backcourt captain would net the Cavs a towering return to complement Mitchell and Mobley.

There is no possible offseason that does not conclude without multiple major shifts in Cleveland basketball. Still, the Cavaliers have plenty of hope for the future of the franchise with Evan Mobley's growth and their playoff success despite a perplexing roster construction. Should Donovan Mitchell commit his future to the Cavaliers, Cleveland will continue to compete for the highest accolades in the East.

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