Cavs Rumors: Mitchell, Rubio, Allen, Bickerstaff

The injuries that will sideline Darius Garland and Evan Mobley well into the new year aren’t expected to significantly impact the Cavaliers‘ plans for this season, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says the franchise remains committed to its core of Garland, Mobley, Donovan Mitchell, and Jarrett Allen.

As Fischer writes, there has been “incessant chatter” among rival executives about the possibility of Mitchell leaving Cleveland in 2025, when he can opt out of his current contract, with speculation about his next destination focusing on the New York teams (the Knicks and Nets). However, those whispers haven’t affected the Cavaliers’ resolve to this point, Fischer explains.

In the event that the Cavs begin to struggle and slide down the standings without Garland and Mobley available, it’s possible the front office will have to reconsider its approach to the trade deadline. But Koby Altman and his group seem to have the “sturdy backing” of ownership, per Fischer, so the odds appear slim that a substantial change in direction will occur in the coming weeks.

Here’s more from Fischer on the Cavaliers:

  • One move Cleveland might make on or before the February 8 deadline would involve Ricky Rubio, according to Fischer, who suggests the team would like to turn Rubio’s salary slot into a player who could contribute this season. The veteran point guard announced in August that he’d be pausing his career to focus on his mental health, and there has been no indication that the “pause” will end anytime soon, so he’d be a buyout candidate if he’s traded to a new team, Fischer adds.
  • While the Cavs have no plans to trade him, Allen would receive “plenty” of interest from playoff contenders if he were ever made available. League sources tell Fischer that the Pelicans are one team that has long had its eye on Allen and would be interested if Cleveland is willing to listen to offers down the road.
  • There was some noise early in the season about whether J.B. Bickerstaff‘s hold on his head coaching job might be slipping, but Fischer hears from sources that the Cavs don’t seem to be in any rush to make a change on the sidelines. Injuries to Garland and Mobley may actually reduce the pressure on Bickerstaff, Fischer points out, since expectations for the club will be tempered without those two young stars in the lineup.
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