Cavs Notes: Mitchell, Garland, Morris, Bickerstaff, Nori

After previously reporting for The Athletic that people around the league expect Donovan Mitchell to sign an extension with the Cavaliers, Shams Charania reiterated on Thursday that Cleveland is optimistic about that outcome (Twitter video link via FanDuel’s Run It Back Show). That aligns with what president of basketball operations Koby Altman said on Friday about the star guard.

That same report also stated that if Mitchell inks an extension, Darius Garland‘s agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, “would have a conversation with Cavs officials on potentially finding a new home for the one-time All-Star.”

In an interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Paul didn’t exactly refute that rumor.

As of now, there’s nothing to discuss on that,” Paul said as part of a larger quote. “My job is to evaluate every situation for every guy that we as a company represent. I’m a representative of players, and I help advise them on business decisions. It’s a lot more to it than just negotiating a contract after four years. Some guys choose to do that and only focus on that. I’m different. I try to look at everything.

You try to position guys a certain way to continue to have value. … And so these guys have to make sure they understand that having the talent they have, and the production, allows them to maintain value.”

When asked about potentially splitting up the backcourt tandem, Altman said, “I don’t see why we should” (Twitter link via Danny Cunningham of Cleveland Magazine).

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Veteran forward Marcus Morris was only with the Cavaliers for about two months, but he admits he saw signs of disconnect between the team and J.B. Bickerstaff, he said on Run It Back (Twitter video links). Bickerstaff was fired on Thursday after leading the Cavs to the second round of the playoffs. The 34-year-old unrestricted free agent also said he expects Mitchell to stay with the Cavs. “I think Cleveland is a great place for (Mitchell)…I would be highly surprised if he left.”
  • Jason Lloyd of The Athletic argues that Bickerstaff deserved to stay on the job for another season, writing that the 45-year-old “consistently had his players’ backs, even when they didn’t have his.” Lloyd also contends that Altman didn’t want to fire Bickerstaff but felt forced to due to Mitchell’s contract situation — the five-time All-Star was one of the players who reportedly questioned the coach’s “tactics and strategies.”
  • Appearing on NBA Today (YouTube link), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst agreed with Lloyd about Altman’s decision, pointing out that there’s an “extreme closeness” between the Bickerstaff family and Altman. J.B.’s father Bernie Bickerstaff has been a longtime advisor to the Cavs and Altman.
  • According to Windhorst, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori is a potential name to watch in the Cavaliers’ coaching search. The Cavs’ vacancy may be more attractive than normal due the strength of the Western Conference and perceived weakness of the East — Windhorst has heard player agents are trying to steer their clients to the East too.
  • In an Insider-only story, ESPN’s Bobby Marks outlines the options Mitchell and the Cavs will have this offseason. Marks also explores hypothetical trades from teams that would have interest in Mitchell if he becomes available.
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