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Cleveland Cavaliers facing must win heading into NBA Playoffs, could blow up roster

Donovan Mitchell
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A lot has been made about Donovan Mitchell and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers in recent months. The All-Star guard has a player option worth $37.10 million for the 2025-26 season.

It has led to speculation that Cleveland will look to trade Mitchell during the summer as a way to acquire assets for the star guard.

While the offseason is still ways away, Mitchell and his Cavaliers are preparing for a first-round matchup against the upstart Orlando Magic in the NBA Playoffs. Game 1 will tip off Saturday in Cleveland.

As for the Cavaliers, they finished the regular season with a solid 48-34 record and as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, that included losing 13 of their final 21 games to fall down the standings heading into the postseason.

Related: Cleveland Cavaliers standing in Sportsnaut’s NBA power rankings

Cleveland Cavaliers could blow up roster during NBA offseason

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Credit: Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Zach Lowe called Cleveland’s first-round matchup against the Magic a must win if the team wants to keep its core together.

It was just last season that Cleveland fell to the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. That came after the team finished up the regular season with a 51-31 record. In reality, we just have not seen a ton of improvement this time around from the Cavaliers.

In addition to Mitchell, the Cavs might consider moving off fellow guard Darius Garland and big man Evan Mobley should they struggle in the playoffs again. There is also a good chance that head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will be fired.

Related: 2024 NBA Playoff bracket

Mitchell is the obvious big name here. Cleveland exhausted a ton of capital to acquire the All-Star from the Utah Jazz ahead of the 2022-23 season. Rumors continue to suggest that he’s not going to sign a long-term contract with the team. Rather, talk around the NBA water cooler suggests that he wants to play in a larger market.

What happens with these Cavaliers in the 2024 NBA Playoffs will tell us a whole heck of a lot about the trajectory of this franchise moving forward.

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