Keys to Cavaliers making steps forward after Donovan Mitchell trade – Terry Pluto’s Scribbles

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Scribbles in my pocket book after speaking to some NBA folks in regards to the Cavaliers mega-deal with Utah to deliver Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland:

1. Evan Mobley. That’s what one NBA supply began with after I requested him in regards to the Cavs deal. He referred to as it a “internet plus.” Like just a few different NBA sources, he talked about: “It’s laborious to get a celebrity to come to Cleveland. It’s not simply Cleveland, it is most different small markets. Trading for Mitchell with three years on his contract brings a star to Cleveland.”

2. Former Cavs coach Mike Fratello can go on the report as a result of he is within the broadcasting enterprise. He did lots of Clippers video games final season, the place he noticed Mitchell within the Western Conference. “Mitchell is considered one of solely 5 – 6 gamers who can exit and get you 50 factors in a playoff recreation. It’s necessary to have a man like that.”

3. I questioned if Mitchell had scored 50 factors in a recreation. It occurred twice within the 2020 Utah/Denver collection. Mitchell scored 57 factors (19 of 33 taking pictures) and 51 factors (15 of 27 taking pictures). Unfortunately for his Utah crew, the Jazz had a 3-1 lead in that best-of-seven first-round collection, then misplaced the final three video games.

4. Mitchell has been in 39 profession playoff video games, averaging 28.3 factors. The NBA sources talked in regards to the Cavs’ issues of discovering a participant moreover Darius Garland who can create his personal shot in powerful video games. That was clear within the Cavs play-in event video games.

5. Fratello in contrast the 6-foot-1 Mitchell to Joe Dumars by way of him “having some bulk and being sturdy” regardless of additionally being a smaller guard. He talked about how Isaiah Thomas and Dumars (each within the 6-foot-2 vary) have been an amazing backcourt in Detroit for years. Can Garland and Mitchell turn into that in Cleveland?

Koby Altman, president of basketball operations of the Cleveland Cavaliers (middle), talks along with his head coach JB Bickerstaff whereas seated subsequent to Cavs guard Darius Garland. Those three now have a brand new participant in Donovan Mitchell.

John Kuntz,

6. The Cavs lastly need to make the playoffs and win a spherical with out LeBron James on the roster. The final non-James full playoff look was 1998 with Fratello as head coach. The final time a non-James crew gained a spherical was in 1993 with Lenny Wilkens as head coach.

7. The Cavs traded unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029 to Utah together with Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji (2022 first-round decide). The two groups additionally agreed to swap picks in 2026 and 2028. The Cavs are possible not to have a first-round decide in 2023. If they make the playoffs, that goes to Indiana within the Caris LeVert deal.

8. That brings us to Mobley, the Cavs’ 2021 first-round decide who appears like a future star. The 7-footer averaged 15.3 factors, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks. He additionally shot .508 from the sphere. Those are sturdy numbers for a rookie, however what impressed the NBA sources essentially the most was his “elite protection.”

9. One NBA supply steered there are occasions when the Cavs can play Mobley at small forward. “He’s athletic sufficient to do it,” stated the supply. The Cavs may put Kevin Love at energy forward and Jarrett Allen at middle – recreating the “Big Three Lineup” the Cavs had with Mobley, Allen and Markkanen final season. This Big Three with Love couldn’t play as a lot because the Markkanen Big Three, however there are occasions the place the Cavs can make use of that mixture.


Evan Mobley had a powerful rookie season. Are there even higher issues to come? That can decide how far the Cavs go within the playoffs within the subsequent few years.
John Kuntz,

10. All-Star level guard Garland is beneath crew management for six years (thanks to his most contract extension). The Cavs have an opportunity to even have Mobley beneath crew management for even longer. Mobley has three years left on his rookie deal. The Cavs are eligible to supply him a monster long-term extension in the summertime of 2024 – very like the five-year extension they gave Garland after his third NBA season. Most gamers take the primary most contract extensions.

11. If Garland and Mobley are collectively for a lot of the decade, these picks traded to Utah aren’t as helpful as a result of they are going to be low within the first spherical. The Cavs have Allen (4 years) and Mitchell (three years plus a participant choice) additionally beneath multi-year contracts. The Cavs Big Four can be collectively for at the very least three years.

12. “At first, you suppose – Wow! The Cavs gave up lots to get that younger man (Mitchell),” stated Fratello. “But the NBA does not worth picks prefer it as soon as did. Also, you want a man who can exit and get you a basket in a troublesome a part of the sport. He can do this. He’s explosive and he is going to get even higher.”

13. Not buying and selling Mobley, Garland or Allen was the important thing to making the deal for the Cavs. Consider their ages: Mitchell (26), Allen (24), Garland (22) and Mobley (21). The Cavs at the moment are betting on inside development and coach JB Bickerstaff to hold the defensive degree excessive (ranked No. 5 final 12 months) with a 6-1 backcourt of Mitchell and Garland.

14. Two NBA sources stated the Cavs nonetheless have “a significant downside” when it comes to 3-point taking pictures. They surprise about LeVert or Isaac Okoro as small forwards – neither shoot nicely from the surface. That is one thing they’re going to want to face this season. Mitchell is a profession 36% shooter from 3-point vary. That’s respectable, not elite.

15. One NBA supply stated: “I give the Cavs credit score for not attempting to purchase themselves time by being conservative and ready on the younger gamers. They determined they have been going for an opportunity to be actually good, realizing there’s a actual threat of failure due to all of the draft picks and property they traded. I prefer it. This will get them into the playoffs with an opportunity to do one thing – which wasn’t the case earlier than.”

HERE ME TALK: I can be talking on the Medina Library on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6:30 pm It’s free. I’ll take questions, signal books and meet with followers.


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