Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland pic

Do the Cavaliers want to keep Donovan Mitchell?

Last night, the Cavaliers lost 113-98 to the Celtics. Boston won the series and are advancing to the Conference Finals for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. Cleveland’s season is over and several key questions need to be answered this offseason. The most important is can the Cavaliers retain All-NBA SG Donovan Mitchell. 

There’s been ongoing discussion about Mitchell potentially leaving Cleveland this offseason. If he decides to stay, that could trigger another player to want to leave. NBA insider Shams Charania said there’s an issue with how Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland compliment each other on the court. Charania thinks one of them could be on the move this offseason. Additionally, there’s speculation that Cleveland might move on from head coach J.B. Bickertaff. What moves will the Cavaliers make ahead of the 2024-25 season?

Is Donovan Mitchell or Darius Garland more valuable to Cleveland?

Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland make up the backcourt pairing for the Cavaliers. Both players are capable 20+ point per game scorers and they have similar tendencies on the court. However, Cleveland has struggled with postseason success in the last two seasons Mithcell and Garland have been paired together. In 2023-24, Garland’s production took a step back. Additionally, his 57 games were the second-lowest total of his career. Additionally, he averaged (18.0) points per game compared to (21.6) in 2022-23. Not what the Cavaliers were expecting from Garland.

This past season, Donovan Mitchell averaged a team-high (26.6) points per game. The ball tends to be in Mitchell’s hands when he’s on the court. His higher scoring average than Garland reflects that. However, there was a time when Darius Garland was thriving as Cleveland’s go-to scoring option. That was before Donovan Mitchell arrived. In 2021-22, Garland averaged a career-high (21.7) points and (8.6) assists per game. The former first-round pick earned his first career all-star selection that season. Since then, we haven’t seen the same type of production from Garland. Largely because Donovan Mitchell is on the team.

Cleveland has some serious decisions that need to be made. Are they going to stick with Mitchell and extend him long-term? That would likely force Darius Garland to request a trade, Or is Cleveland trying to get a haul in return from Mitchell and hit a slight rebuild? On top of all this, there are questions about J.B. Bickerstaff coming back. Important decisions have to be made that could change the way the franchise is headed.

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