NBA Rumors: Has Donovan Mitchell played his last game with the Cavs?

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now headed to the offseason after losing to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs in five games. It was an encouraging year for the Cavs. They won their first playoff series without LeBron James since 1993 and despite injuries to Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen, they gave the Celtics all they could handle.

Their loss to Boston was almost fitting though, given the theme of the Cavs season: injuries. Mitchell, Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland all missed more than 20 games this season. Max Strus also missed ten games and Dean Wade missed two months due to injury. The Cavs have nothing to hang their heads about though given the talent they have on the roster and the progress they showed this season. The organization is clearly on the upward trajectory.

However, the Cavs enter a crucial offseason filled with questions around the future of the team and the changes that need to be made from the front office to the coaching staff to the roster. The biggest question for the Cavs that needs to be answered revolves around their star player:

Has Donovan Mitchell played his last game with the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Ever since the Cleveland Cavaliers traded for All-Star Donovan Mitchell prior to the 2022-23 season, the main question was this: how long will Mitchell really stay in Cleveland? The question seemed bizarre at the time of the trade, given the fact that Mitchell had four years left on his contract. 

As for Mitchell’s play since he got to Cleveland, he has enjoyed the best two year stretch of his career to date. He has averaged career highs in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage. Mitchell has also improved as a defender, ranking near the top of the league this season in deflections, steals, and loose balls recovered.

Mitchell was among the NBA’s best playoff performers this season as well. He averaged 30/5/5 on 46 percent shooting and 35 percent from three-point range. He also tied for the second most 30-point playoff games this year (5). In addition to that, he had a 50-point outburst in Game 6 against the Magic and had 89 points combined in games six and seven of that series, the most over that two game stretch since Allen Iverson in 2001.

There is no denying that Mitchell has absolutely flourished as a Cav and has more room to grow. The team also has room to grow with young talent like Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. Mobley especially has shown flashes of becoming a top big man and he and Mitchell have shown budding chemistry this season.

The team also has nice pieces to surround Mitchell with Max Strus, Caris LeVert, Sam Merrill, and Dean Wade in the fold for the next few seasons. The Cavs also dealt with their playoff demons from last spring by winning a playoff series and remaining competitive with the Celtics.

Mitchell has shown that he loves the situation he is in with the Cavs, no matter how much the national media tries to say otherwise. So the answer is no. I do not believe Donovan Mitchell has played his last game as a Cav and Shams Charania seems to agree with me. This is no doubt a crucial offseason in the Land, but it will be a lot simpler if (or when?) Spida casts his web in Cleveland for the long term.