Eastern Notes: Cavaliers, Nets, Bulls, Dawkins

In a conversation this week on the HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype and Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reiterated several points that they and other reporters have made in recent weeks, telling listeners that there’s optimism in Cleveland about a Donovan Mitchell extension, the Cavaliers aren’t looking to trade any of their four core players, and James Borrego and Kenny Atkinson look like the top candidates for the Cavs’ head coaching job.

Addressing Mitchell’s contract situation, Scotto notes that the star guard might sign a shorter-term maximum-salary contract that would set him up to get his next deal in 2027 once he has 10 years of NBA service under his belt and qualifies for a maximum salary worth 35% of the cap instead of 30%.

Mitchell isn’t the only Cavalier who could sign a big-money extension this offseason. Within a discussion about a potential rookie scale extension for Evan Mobley, Fedor predicts that the Cavs will put a maximum-salary offer on the table for the big man.

“He hasn’t played to that (max) level yet, but there’s so much belief in Evan as a person and him as a player inside this organization,” Fedor said. “… They understand that he’s already one of the elite defensive players in the NBA. That’s already where he’s at, and they believe he can get to a point offensively where he becomes the unicorn type of player they’ve talked about him being since he came into the NBA. I don’t think the Cavaliers are going to hesitate to offer him the max extension.”

Even if Mitchell and Mobley are extended, the Cavaliers would likely have to be “blown away” to consider moving Darius Garland or Jarrett Allen, according to Fedor. While the Pelicans have been widely viewed as a potential trade partner Cleveland, Scotto says he doesn’t get the sense Cleveland is all that excited about the idea of trading for Brandon Ingram and then having to sign him to a lucrative new contract.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Despite not having any picks in the 2024 draft and no cap room this offseason, the Nets have several important decisions to make, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (subscription required), who examines Nic Claxton‘s free agency, Mikal Bridges‘ future, and the possibility of trading into the draft. According to Lewis, the Nets aren’t interested in acquiring a draft pick just to have one, but they figure to monitor specific targets and prepare to pounce if any of those targets drop past their expected draft range.
  • Given how many different directions the Bulls‘ offseason could take, there’s no shortage of prospects who might make sense for the team with the No. 11 pick in the draft, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley examines several of those options, including Ron Holland, Cody Williams, and Dalton Knecht. He also mentions center Donovan Clingan, citing a source who says the Bulls have discussed the possibility of trading up from No. 11.
  • Wizards general manager Will Dawkins spoke to Marc J. Spears of Andscape about being accused of shoplifting at a Saks Fifth Avenue in Miami last fall. Dawkins was briefly detained by a security guard and local police before they realized they had the wrong person. Saks issued a formal apology to Dawkins on Thursday.
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