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Cavaliers reportedly expect Donovan Mitchell to sign extension, not trade core four players

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 09: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at TD Garden on May 09, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Cleveland remains one of the hinges of the NBA offseason — which way things swing in Cleveland will determine the moves of other teams.

Will Donovan Mitchell sign the four-year, $208.5 million contract extension Cleveland will present him on June 30? If not, the Cavaliers have to explore his trade market (they can’t let Mitchell walk for nothing next summer). If Mitchell does sign to stay on in Cleveland, what does that mean for the future of Darius Garland? Those two have not meshed seamlessly as a backcourt and Garland’s agent reportedly wants to talk to Cleveland about his role if Mitchell stays. Then there is the question of whether Cleveland trades or keeps Jarrett Allen, who has never been a perfect fit with Evan Mobley.

The growing expectation is that Mitchell does re-sign with Cleveland, and they will keep their core four together, reports Jake Fischer at Yahoo Sports.

Despite a wealth of interest in both Garland and Allen on the trade market, Cleveland is not expected to entertain trade offers for any member of its core four at this time, sources said, while a league-wide expectation only grows that Mitchell will sign a contract extension with the club that acquired him from Utah back in September 2022.

This is undoubtedly the spin Cleveland wants out there, even if other teams are not so sure that’s reality.

If this report pans out and Cleveland runs it back with basically the same roster, it will put a lot of pressure on whoever gets hired as the new coach. “Hey chef, here’s the same ingredients that got the last cook fired, make something far more delicious with it.” Fischer said the Cavaliers are interviewing three top assistants for their head job: The Pelicans’ James Borrego (rumored to be the frontrunner), the Warriors’ Kenny Atkinson and the Timberwolves’ Micah Nori.

It’s going to be an interesting summer in Cleveland, but if it holds firm with the hand it has, that dampens the trade market and puts a new coach under a lot of pressure.