Cavaliers trading Darius Garland a near lock after new report: 5 potential landing spots including the Lakers and Spurs

darius garland
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Following a report that the Cleveland Cavaliers could pick between Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell this summer, it looks like the former is already making plans to set up his exit once the offseason starts.

Heading into the NBA games today, the Cavaliers are unfortunately making plans for the summer after they saw their postseason run come to an end at the hands of the Boston Celtics earlier this week. The playoff ouster has forced the organization to more seriously consider the makeup of their roster and whether it is set up as best as possible.

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  • Darius Garland contract: Five years, $197.2 million

Following their Game 5 loss, the rumblings grew louder about the franchise taking a hard look at moving Donovan Mitchell this summer when his value is highest, as opposed to before the 2025 NBA trade deadline. However, there has been a second narrative developing that could see the team instead move five-year veteran Darius Garland and keep Mitchell.

That narrative was furthered on Friday when ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst claimed that if the team holds on to Mitchell in the hopes that he does sign a new long-term extension, Garland’s representatives at Klutch Sports would quickly move to find their client a new home elsewhere.

The one-time All-Star will likely be the odd man out, so if he is put on the trade block in July who are the teams that might pursue a deal for Darius Garland this summer?

Also Read: Donovan Mitchell reportedly grew impatient with Cleveland Cavaliers’ teammates’ lack of focus in NBA Playoffs; Spida responds

5 teams that could pursue a Darius Garland trade this summer

darius garland
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be active on the trade market this season. If they can’t swing a deal for Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young or the aforementioned Mitchell, giving up the No. 17 pick in a weak draft may be enough to land Garland in a deal. Bringing in the 24-year-old as a replacement for D’Angelo Russell — who is likely to leave in free agency — makes a lot of sense.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat could certainly use more weapons on offense, especially from the point guard spot. A case could be made that the arrival of Mitchell hindered Garland’s game and being able to be the main ball-handler again could lead to similar numbers as his All-Star season in 2021-22. The Heat could certainly use that player and will definitely inquire about the cost of a trade.

  • Darius Garland stats (2023-24): 18.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 37% 3PT

Atlanta Hawks

darius garland
Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawks are likely to also break up their potential-rich backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray this offseason. In an effort not to lose the production either of them brings, working out a three-team deal that could see them replace Young or Murray with Garland is a sensible route so Atlanta does not take another step backward next season.

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Los Angeles Clippers

There is a possibility the Los Angeles Clippers could lose James Harden, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook in free agency this summer. If they lose one or two of those proven stars they will need to replace them with high-level talent that can maximize the remaining prime years Kawhi Leonard has left. Swinging a trade for Darius Garland may be the best option available if that nightmare free-agent scenario plays out.

San Antonio Spurs

There have been rumblings for weeks that the San Antonio Spurs will be active this summer to get some better piece around young star Victor Wembanyama. They have the assets to pull off a Mitchell trade, which means they have more than enough to land Garland for less and markedly improve their team for next season.

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