Update provided on Donovan Mitchell’s future with the Cleveland Cavaliers after head coach hire

Donovan Mitchell

We have absolutely no idea if Donovan Mitchell will suit up in a game for new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Kenny Atkinson.

It was reported earlier on Monday that Cleveland has hired Atkinson away from the Golden State Warriors to be its new head coach. This comes after the Cavaliers surprisingly fired J.B. Bickerstaff.

Fresh off an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, attention immediately turns to Mitchell and whether he’ll be back in Cleveland for a third season.

Various reports indicated earlier in the offseason that the Cavaliers were likely to trade Mitchell during the summer. It makes sense. The All-Star guard can opt out of his contract after next season and become a free agent. Cleveland doesn’t want to face the real possibility of losing him for nothing.

More recently, it has been suggested that the Cavaliers believe Mitchell will accept their max-contract offer to remain with the team long-term.

How the Atkinson hiring impacts Mitchell’s future in Cleveland remains to be seen. But this latest report gives us an idea.

Related: Donovan Mitchell and the best NBA players today

Cleveland Cavaliers “confident” Donovan Mitchell sign extension soon

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

Cleveland’s first order of business was to get a new head coach. Now that Atkinson is slated to man the bench, Mitchell becomes the focal point. It sure looks like something will happen on this front.

Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic reported that the Cavaliers’ front office plans on presenting Mitchell with a four-year, $209 million contract extension offer soon. They also indicate that Cleveland’s brass is “confident” Mitchell will sign the extension.

  • Donovan Mitchell stats (2023-24): 26.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 46% shooting, 37% 3-point

As you can see, Mitchell is a franchise cornerstone. Cleveland also gave up a whole heck of a lot to acquire him from the Utah Jazz ahead of the 2022-23 season. It wants him long-term.

This report also fits in with what Cavaliers front office head Koby Altman said following their exit in the NBA Playoffs.

“I don’t see why we should,” Altman told reporters recently. “And the same thing goes [for the] fit of the Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen. There’s a depth of talent here that’s really, really good. And when you look at the landscape of the league and how long, like 82 games, we can’t discount [the impact of] injuries.”

If Mitchell does not accept the extension offer, it will lead to Cleveland being forced to trade him this summer.

As for Atkinson, he’s respected from a player development standpoint. Mitchell does not need to development, leading to some belief that the Cavs could be going into rebuild mode.

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