NBA Rumors: The Cavs face major obstacle to keeping their star from bolting

Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Darius Garland
Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Darius Garland / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to face off against the Orlando Magic in their first-round series, and the stakes are surprisingly high. The Cavs are hoping that a deep playoff run will persuade star Donovan Mitchell to stay after reports that he would be uninterested in signing an extension with the team.

Mitchell himself stated that making it deep into the playoffs to the Eastern Conference Finals or NBA Finals is his goal. That puts pressure on the Cavs to appease their star, but that is easier said than done.

The East is loaded this season, with the Boston Celtics possibly waiting for them in the second round should they advance. Even if the Cavs upset the Celtics, they could still have to face the New York Knicks or the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Finals. 

Can the Cleveland Cavaliers convince Donovan Mitchell to stay?

Mitchell's recent comments about wanting to make the Eastern Conference Finals or NBA Finals seem like an acknowledgement that he indeed wants out of Cleveland. After all, it appears unlikely that they will go far in the postseason.

If that is the case, then he would likely be the hottest name available this summer. Moreover, teams such as the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs could be interested.

That would give the Cavs a chance to recoup some of the assets that they gave up to acquire him. If they move him this summer, then they could probably command at least three first-round picks in return for their best player.

Something that could potentially complicate things, however, is that the Cavs may still be a playoff team without Mitchell. Therefore, they may prioritize getting back two or three rotation players in addition to a couple of picks. That would allow them to build out the rest of the roster to try and use depth to offset the loss of Mitchell. Also, receiving picks would potentially help them make another deal down the road.

Ultimately, all eyes will be on Cleveland this postseason to see how far they can go. If they fail to advance past the second round, that could ensure that Mitchell will want out and that several teams will be lining up to try and acquire him this summer.