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Why the Cavs have no intent in trading Donovan Mitchell

Yahoo Sports NBA reporter Jake Fischer dives into his latest Intel on Cleveland and what they intend to do as the team currently sits at sixth in the Eastern conference despite missing a pair of key players for a significant amount of time due to injury.

Video Transcript

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JAKE FISCHER: The Cleveland Cavaliers are one team definitely in the rumor mill ahead of the February 8th trade deadline, especially as All-Star point guard Darius Garland will be out for a month with a facial fracture. And rising forward, Evan Mobley, could be out for upwards of two months after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee.

But at this point in time, it has become quite clear from talking with people around the Cleveland Cavaliers that they have no intent to trade All-NBA guard, Donovan Mitchell, a top MVP candidate from a season ago, even with the fact that he could reach unrestricted free agency in 2025. And there are plenty of whispers about his ongoing interest in playing in New York City, which of course, dates back to when he was a member of the Utah Jazz. And there was plenty of speculation and talk about ongoing chatter and negotiations between the Jazz and the Knicks back before Cleveland swept in the heat of night and stole Cleveland from New York's clutches.

But he is there for now. The Cavs are moving forward with him and Jared Allen, the other member of that core four. There's been talk about the potential job security questions surrounding JB Bickerstaff and his head coaching post, starting with a 4 and 6 start. But the Cavs are back to 15 and 12. They are two games out of fourth in the Eastern Conference, which is realistically where this group was expected to be.

There isn't exactly an in-house replacement that you would snap your fingers and think can truly lead this group to a better, prosperous situation than what they're currently in right now. I think the only real tangible development for Cleveland on the trade front is they have two years and roughly $13 million left on the contract of Ricky Rubio, who announced in August he is pausing his career to better pursue his mental health initiatives.

But that's just a valuable salary slot for a contender like Cleveland or a hopeful contender like Cleveland to sit and wait and waste that money away. It does seem like they are looking for a potential buyer to take his contract with some draft pick compensation for them to work on a buyout so Cleveland can have another rotation piece. And hopefully, for their sake, get back to the postseason and have a better success than what they did against the Knicks last April in the first round.