The Cavaliers traded for Donovan Mitchell to make them a true contender. Mitchell felt personally responsible for the team’s 4-1 series loss to the Knicks, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.
“I don’t feel like I was the player I needed to be for this group,” Mitchell said. “That’s what’s gonna keep me up at night. I’ve done it all year. You know what I mean? So I just didn’t deliver like I expected myself to, my teammates and everybody expects me to. And like I said, I take that upon myself, man, like I gotta be better.”
Mitchell averaged 23.2 points — five below his season average — and shot 43.3 percent and 28.9 on 3-point attempts in the series.
We have more on the Cavs:
- This year’s playoff flop puts immense pressure on the team to get deeper into the postseason next year, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic opines. Even though Mitchell is signed through the 2025/26 season, he can opt out in the summer of 2025. If the Cavs can’t get a long-term commitment from Mitchell after next season, they may need to trade him, Lloyd writes. They also don’t have many assets to upgrade the roster.
- Caris LeVert is headed to free agency but he “absolutely” wants to re-sign, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. LeVert averaged 18 points in the last four games of the series.
- Darius Garland learned some lessons during the series, Fedor writes at Cleveland.com. Garland’s eyes were opened by the different tempo and intensity in the playoffs. “The pace is just so fast, it’s just coming to you really quick,” Garland said. “It’s a lot to process. Go back and watch this film, see what we did wrong. Trying to learn from it as much as I can. It hurts, but we know what it feels like. We know how playoff basketball is. We know the physicality of it. We know the mental aspect of it. It’s going to make us work hard and we’re going to remember this feeling.”
- How can the Cavs upgrade at the wing? Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explores that topic in his offseason primer. They could target Josh Richardson, Jalen McDaniels or Kelly Oubre with their mid-level exception. They could also try to trade for a forward with the MLE since the new CBA allows it to be used as a trade exception. Potential targets in that case could include Royce O’Neale, Reggie Bullock or Alec Burks.
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18 thoughts on “Cavs Notes: Mitchell, Next Season, LeVert, Garland, Wing Upgrades”
Cavs need better wings than these players
Royce O’Neale, Reggie Bullock or Alec Burks
You are correct concerning Royce O’neale, Reggie Bullock, Josh Richardson, Alec Burks who are mostly shooting guards and are similar in value to what they already have. Kelly Oubre, Finney-Smith, Cam Johnson, Doug Mcdermott, Rui Hachimura, Pj Washington are better choices but many are unavailable.
Kelly Oubre is the opposite of a good choice.
Kelly Oubre has a mean streak unlike all other Cavs players with the exception of Lamar Stevens. Oubre is a far superior player than any candidate the Cavs have at small forward. He’s far from great but he is bigger and stronger than Okoro and can defend small forwards with greater tenacity and force. He’s also averaged over 20 points per game last season.
Cedi Osman is their best choice at small forward as he is the Cavs only true small forward based upon size. He’s vastly under rated and when he receives more than 20 minutes of playing time he averages at least 12 points per game. His defense is labeled as poor but he is at least an average defensive player, far from substandard.
Another year, another team, another failure for Mitchell in the playoffs… somethings never change, right?
Wings, Experience and depth ….
1. Cedi Osman, Issac Okoro and a second round pick for Reggie Bullock and JaVale McGee
2. Let LeVert walk and use the MLE to get Jae Crowder.
3. Then fill out the bench with vet min guys and young prospects
Garland Mitchell Crowder Mobley Allen
Rubio Bullock Wade McGee
Ayo Dosumu Merrill Stevens Drew Eubanks
Jae Crowder was already with the Cavs in a contentious few months and is likely to never return. Plus he’s also in the 6’4”-6’5” range. The Cavs could use a legitimately sized small forward in the 6’7”-6’8” range to blend with guards who are relatively short in stature.
Jae is posed as 6’6 ideal size.
Can switch and guard any position really and is a career 35% from 3. 32 years old perfect age in terms of having experience but not being to old and can’t contribute. Think he’d be ideal tbh
I would much rather the Cavs spend money on a younger, more athletic starter. Crowder isn’t a bad player, but he’s never been consistent on offense. Grabbing veterans who can contribute on the minimum to fill bench roles is the better choice imo. McDaniels is the better choice if the Cavs can get him.
That’s why Utah traded him. Simple as that.
Cavs were simply out coached.
When Mitchell Robinson amassed 11 offensive rebounds in game 5 when the Cavs had only 4 as a team that is a problem with spacing and coaching. Yet this disparity in rebounding consistently reocurred the entire series against the Knicks. Andre Drummond used to punish Mitchell Robinson. Robin Lopez was given no playing time of meaning to try and stop this domination. The Cavs need a reserve center/power forward. Drummond, Whiteside, Cousins, Thomas Bryant, Naz Reid, Mason Plumlee, Nerlens Noel, Moses Brown. Allen played timidly consistently over powered by Mitchell Robinson.
Lack of depth also hurt the Cavs terribly. Outside of LeVert, they had no effective bench options. Okoro looked totally lost.
Pumping up Jarrett Allen as an All-Star yet he can’t even counter Mitchell Robinson….
Everyone laughs and complains about load management but the players that were managed conservatively (eg Curry, Murray/Porter, Durant) are the ones still in the playoffs.
Except Kawahi Leonard.
Kawhi Leonard is a fascinating study in basketball players that don’t actually want to play basketball. Kyrie Irving is another.