Donovan Mitchell signs 3-year extension with Cavaliers

Written by: William Petersen

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The Cleveland Cavaliers locked in their franchise player on July 2nd after Louisville alum Donovan Mitchell signed a three-year, $150.3 million extension. This maximum extension comes in the wake of Mitchell’s impressive 2023/24 season after finishing the regular season averaging 26.6 points, 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds on 46.2% shooting from the field and 36.8% from three. Mitchell was the offensive engine for the Cavaliers all season even though he only managed to log 55 games. Mitchell has been known to be a high powered offensive weapon after his notable 40 plus point games in the NBA Bubble during Covid, continuing to show the growth in his game this season after averaging almost 30 points in the playoffs. Following their gritty game seven win over the Orlando Magic in round one of the playoffs, the Cavaliers lost to the now defending champion Boston Celtics in five games. Mitchell continued to be the life line for the Cavs, averaging 31.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in only three games of that second round series.

After looking at Mitchell’s numbers from this past regular and postseason, it seems to be a no-brainer that the Cavs gave him the max extension. Cleveland has been chasing the high of their only title in franchise history after LeBron James and the Cavaliers came back from 3-1 down in the Finals to beat the Golden State Warriors in seven, and this maximum extension seems to be a direct answer towards getting back to this standard. The key now for the Cavs front office will be to surround Mitchell with more offensive talent in order to minimize what happened this playoffs where we saw Mitchell taking thirty plus shots a game to keep the Cavs within striking distance. Another major piece that the Cavaliers already have is point guard Darius Garland who struggled to give consistent help to Mitchell all playoffs. Garland averaged 15.7 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds on 42.7% shooting and 35% shooting from beyond the arc. While those numbers do not look atrocious, they reflect that adjective if you watched how Garland performed when the Cavs needed him most. Garland seemed to shy away from big moments and when called upon could not consistently hit big shots to take some of the load off of Mitchell’s back. If the Cavaliers are to have compounding playoff success, Garland will need to expand his offensive game and efficiency if Cleveland is going to have any chance of returning to the NBA Finals anytime soon.