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Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star expected to look for new team this summer

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics
Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Just a couple of years ago, Darius Garland and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked like prime candidates to ascend from fringe contenders to legitimate threats to win the NBA Finals. Garland led the Cavs with 21.7 points per game and became a first-time All-Star at the age of 22.

While the Cavaliers have won more games since acquiring Donovan Mitchell and have advanced further in the postseason each year, Garland hasn’t continued his growth. Meanwhile, Mitchell is also eligible to sign an extension, or he could wait and determine whether he wants to exercise his $37 million player option or become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.

The Cavaliers want to keep Mitchell, but once he’s on the open market, several other teams will chase after Mitchell too. In fact, if the Cavs commit to Mitchell, it could spell the end of Garland’s days in Cleveland.

Cleveland Cavaliers may pick between Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, now rival executives anticipate Cleveland to pick one or the other, not both of Garland and Mitchell.

“Rival executives believe the Cavs will have to seriously evaluate the fit of Mitchell and Garland and ultimately may have to choose one or the other. Should Mitchell decide to stay long term, sources briefed on the matter say Garland’s representation, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, would have a conversation with Cavs officials on potentially finding a new home for the one-time All-Star.”

Shams Charania on Cleveland Cavaliers choosing between Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell

Even if the Cavaliers choose Mitchell over Garland, it’s not like the 24-year-old point guard won’t have significant trade value. Sure, his $36.7 million cap hit could make matching salaries a tricky maneuver, but point guards who can shoot and pass like Garland don’t grow on trees.

After missing 25 games due to injury, Garland’s value is lower than it has been in the past two offseasons, but the Cavaliers should still be able to get a respectable trade package for their starting point guard.

Related: 7 ideal Jimmy Butler trade landing spots this summer, including Knicks, Lakers, and 76ers

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