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Amidst Rumors of Donovan Mitchell’s Future with the Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins ‘Urges’ Team to Make Tough Decision

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Amidst Rumors of Donovan Mitchell’s Future with the Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins ‘Urges’ Team to Make Tough Decision

On Saturday, the Cleveland Cavaliers missed the opportunity to close the gap on second-placed Milwaukee Bucks after suffering a 97-116 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena. The Cavaliers can now drop to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings if the Orlando Magic and the New York Knicks manage to win their next game. The Cavaliers were favorites to clinch third place in the Eastern Conference standings, but their poor 7-12 record in the last 19 games has allowed the chasing pack to close in on Cleveland on the table. Their downward spiral coincided with star guard Donovan Mitchell‘s knee injury.

Mitchell has featured in only six of their last 19 games and has suffered a tremendous dip in form, averaging only 14.3 points, five assists, and three rebounds. Cavs are 2-4 in the games the guard has featured since returning from his knee injury.

ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins recently called out Mitchell for his poor form on X. He also noted that his poor form has not only affected the Cavaliers’ results but has also hurt Darius Garland‘s output. The former Boston Celtics star claimed that Mitchell was “in Garland’s way.” “The @cavs need to make a choice! Because Donovan Mitchell is in Darius Garland way. I’m just saying…,” Perk wrote on X.

Perkins has a point. Per Statmuse, Garland has averaged 19.7 points, 6.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and one steal in the 20 games he has played without Mitchell this season. In the 34 games he has shared the court with the star guard, his numbers have dipped to 16.9 points, 6.3 assists, and 2.4 rebounds. However, it’s worth noting that the Cavaliers are 9-11 when Garland has played without Mitchell and 20-14 when both their starting guards have shared the court.

Garland’s dip in form wasn’t noticeable when Mitchell was playing at an All-Star level and leading the Cavaliers to victories. However, his poor performances and Cleveland’s horrendous record over the past 19 games have magnified the problem. It’s a dilemma that the Cavaliers should address before the postseason.

Donovan Mitchell’s time in Cleveland may be coming to an end

The Cavaliers may only need a temporary solution to their Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell issue, as the latter could be nearing the end of his tenure in Cleveland. Mitchell will enter the final year of his five-year, $163 million contract next season. Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus has reported that rumors suggest that Mitchell isn’t keen on signing an extension with the Cavaliers, and the franchise would prefer to trade him rather than let him walk as a free agent in the 2025 offseason.

Several teams have been linked to Mitchell, including the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets. But the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be his most likely landing spot. The franchise is hunting for a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers can offer a first-round pick with players like D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura for Spida.

LA is well positioned to land Mitchell, but other teams can swoop in and steal him from the Cavaliers with a strong offer. While his trade destination is uncertain, the guard is likely to leave Cleveland before the 2024-25 trade deadline.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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