Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell is not expected to sign a contract extension this summer, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. But even after it was rumored that there was some pressure on the Cavs to extend him by 2024, for Cavs fans, this is not quite as much of a disaster as it might immediately sound.
“I do not expect Donovan Mitchell to sign an extension with the Cavaliers this summer,” Windhorst said on NBA today, “nor do I expect that to cause major alarm. I expect him to go into next year. The way Donovan Mitchell answers that question will be very important for the Cavaliers, their fans and potentially other teams out there who may be interested in making a trade for Mitchell – to listen to. My expectation is Mitchell… will keep his options open.”
Windhorst also made comparisons to the situation of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has refused to commit to either staying or leaving Milwaukee. For Antetokounmpo, the performance of the Bucks appears to be the determining factor in his future, and it's easy to see that being the case for Mitchell too.
Throughout his six season career, the number 13 pick from the 2017 draft has consistently been on good teams – he's never finished lower than sixth and his team has won at least 48 games every season with the exception of the shortened 2019-20 year, in which his Jazz side won 44. But despite that relative regular season success, he's never made it past the second round of the playoffs.
At 27 he still has plenty of time left in his career, but if another year or two ticks by without much success, he wouldn't exactly be the first player in the NBA to go championship hunting. For the time being, however, there's no immediate cause for alarm for the Cavaliers. Their improvement over the past couple of seasons has been significant, and with Mitchell and Darius Garland leading the back court and Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the front court, the potential for them to compete for a championship is well and truly there.