Now that training camp is underway across the NBA, extension watch is in full effect. New York Knicks fans are crossing their fingers that Immanuel Quickley will sign a long-term deal, while Cavaliers fans are still holding out hope that Donovan Mitchell could do the same.
The extension deadline is three weeks away, so Mitchell could commit to Cleveland before the 2023-24 season, but he said otherwise at Media Day.
As Mitchell pointed out, it’s not as if these next few weeks are life or death for his Cavaliers future, as he can sign an extension next summer. Financially, it’d be better for Mitchell to wait until 2024 to sign an extension, as it’d add an extra year and more money to the three-year, $150 million extension he’s eligible to sign now (but won’t).
Mitchell said his focus is on winning a championship this season, but what will happen if Cleveland is another early playoff exit?
Potential Knicks target Donovan Mitchell confirms he won’t sign extension before 2023-24
Donovan Mitchell is one of the players who should be on New York’s trade radar for the 2024 offseason. The Cavaliers posted a 51-31 regular season record in 2022-23, best for fourth in the East, but won only one game in the first round of the playoffs against the Knicks.
Mitchell knows a thing or two about first-round exits, as in his five years in Utah that all resulted in postseason appearances, the Jazz advanced past the first round two times. The 27-year-old has yet to experience a conference finals.
He raved about Cleveland’s offseason moves and said it wasn’t hard to recruit Max Strus and Georges Niang to Ohio because they wanted to be there. Maybe the Cavaliers will make a push to the ECF for the first time since the LeBron James era.
If Cleveland has another successful regular season that results in a disappointing playoff performance, the Mitchell trade speculation will ramp up again for the second time in three years.
Depending on how the Joel Embiid situation shakes out, the Knicks could once again be labeled as the frontrunners to acquire Mitchell, and for a cheaper price than the Cavaliers paid to get him.
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