Central Notes: Mitchell, Stewart, Holiday, Middleton, Hield, Edens, Cunningham

Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell has notified the front office he will not sign a contract extension before the season opener, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports.

“I still have the opportunity to sign an extension next summer,” Mitchell said. “My primary focus is this. Just trying to go out there and trying to be the best team we can be and bring a championship to the city and go from there. We added new additions. We obviously had a season that you could kind of rate went really well until it went really poorly. So, for us, that’s where all of our heads are at. That’s where my head is at.”

Mitchell’s current contract runs through the 2025/26 season, though the last season includes a player option.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said character played in a role in the front office’s decision to extend Isaiah Stewart this summer, Omari Sankofa of the Detroit Free Press tweets. “You always want to have a player or players on the team who are symbols for what you want to be about, and he’s that on and off the floor. Who he is as a person and what he brings to practice, what he brings as a teammate,” Weaver said. Stewart signed a four-year, $60MM extension despite only appearing in 50 games last season.
  • While the Bucks are thrilled that Damian Lillard is on their team, they admit it’s strange not to have Jrue Holiday around anymore, according to Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I had just got done with a workout (when he found out),” Khris Middleton said. “I would say just mixed emotions. First, knowing if it was really real or not because it came out of the blue. But then, it sucks to see our guy go. What he did for our organization, what he did for me as a person and my family. It was tough. It was tough to have that conversation and see him go the other way. But to get somebody like Dame in, you got to be excited for a guy like that.”
  • Buddy Hield came to Pacers camp ready to go, despite stalled extension talks, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star reports. “It’s basketball. It’s fun. I approach it as every training camp, especially like I did last year, coming focused and ready and just get the work in,” Hield said. “I’m excited to work with these guys. It’s a fun group of guys. There’s a lot of competition and it’s fun. We have a great coaching staff and great team that’s ready to put in the work and teammates that love each other. I’m excited and I can’t wait.”
  • Bucks co-owner Wes Edens says he’s fine paying the luxury tax for a championship contender, JR Ratcliffe of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays. “We are absolutely in the luxury tax. I think we’re one of the highest luxury-tax payers in the league. For one of the smallest markets in the league, we are one of the biggest payers of the luxury tax,” Edens said. “From an economic standpoint, we can firmly say we are all in. The windows when you have a team the quality we have are relatively short, and we want to do everything we can to not take it for granted.”
  • Cade Cunningham made a strong impression playing for the U.S. Select Team this summer. The Pistons guard ready to break out his All-Star potential after undergoing shin surgery early last season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. “What people saw (at USA Basketball camp, where Cunningham starred with the Select Team) this summer was Cade just being healthy,” Weaver said. “He didn’t do anything we didn’t think he couldn’t do. He was just healthy for the first time. He’s able to really explode off that leg and play with his mind free of not worrying about his leg. He’s the lynchpin of what we’re doing and we’re excited that he’s healthy.”
View Comments (7)