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In an ongoing series for Right Down Euclid, readers can submit their questions about anything related to Cleveland sports and we'll answer them to the best of our ability. So, with that said, today Right Down Euclid will answer your questions, and hopefully more, in this edition of the weekly mailbag.
But, before we get started, a quick housekeeping note. I'm riding again in this year's VeloSano to help in the ongoing battle against cancer! If you or anyone you know have been impacted by cancer, I'd appreciate your financial support by donating to my fundraiser page and sharing, if possible!
Here is a direct link to my fundraiser page. You have until October 1 to donate! Thank you for your support!
Hey, Evan. Can the Cavs trade for Donovan Mitchell? – Tony G.
By now, I'm sure many of you have read the multiple reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers reached out to the Utah Jazz in regard to Donovan Mitchell. After seeing it fly across my feed for the third time in less than a day, I decided to reach out to folks I trust throughout the league. Those sources confirm that Cleveland, like so many other teams, has reached out to Utah in regard to their superstar shooting guard. But, those sources have also confirmed that, like everything else that has been reported, the Jazz are asking for a king's ransom compared to what they got for Rudy Gobert.
Those sources went on to say that, right now, the conversations Cleveland had with the Jazz are more cursory than anything. Many across the league believe the New York Knicks are the front-runner to acquire Mitchell with the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards as two other serious, albeit more distant, trade partners. At the end of the day, it feels like a foregone conclusion that Mitchell will end up a Knickerbocker. The Knicks, having, a Napoleon complex to the Brooklyn Nets, along with an overabundance of draft picks and interesting young prospects, could have enough to seal the deal.
Granted, you could make the argument that the Cavaliers have the ammunition to make a compelling offer for Mitchell as well. Sure, Cleveland doesn't have a ton of draft picks to play around with. But, they do have some high-quality prospects as well in Isaac Okoro and Ochai Agbaji as well as high upside role players like Caris LeVert or Lauri Markkanen to seal the trade. But, if you're a team like Utah, you aren't looking to win right away next year. You're likely looking to tear things down and completely rebuild and the best way to do that is with draft picks. That's where things get tricky for the Cavaliers and why they may not be able to match the Knicks and their desperation for relevancy.
Either way, this still has been the hot topic both online and offline this week for Cavaliers fans. Seriously. When I was looking at venues the other day for a private event (IYKYK), one of the coordinators asked me about Donovan Mitchell joining Cleveland. It also caused a pretty funny, albeit volatile reaction from one of the hosts on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima as well. Until Mitchells is traded, it's going to stay that way too.
But, if you're the Cavaliers, you might not want to sell the farm in order to get Mitchell. Part of it is having to give up so much for a top 20 player in this league and that juice, in the end, may not be worth the squeeze. That and if Mitchell were on the roster, it would prevent Cleveland from signing Evan Mobley to a designated maximum rookie contract extension based on bylaws in the league's CBA. Sure, there are ways to circumvent that scenario but it gets messier and messier with Mitchell being such an unknown factor in all of this.
So, for now, there's always a chance it could happen. Would Mitchell push Cleveland further into the playoff conversation? Absolutely. But, don't be surprised when Mitchell isn't a Cavalier either. But, for what it's worth, it would at least get rid of the uncomfortable Collin Sexton conversation surrounding this team heading into training camp.
Do you think Donovan Mitchell fits with the Cavs? – Brian T.
I do! I think when you add arguably a top-20 player to any NBA team, you're going to find a way to make him fit one way or another. I think there are the size concerns that are already shared between Darius Garland and Collin Sexton defensively, but, the defensive backline of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen could more than cover them.
Speaking of Sexton, many are probably saying that he's a diet version of what Mitchell provides at way less cost. Not so fast, my friend. What makes Mitchell different from Sexton is that Mitchell takes and makes more three-pointers than Sexton and that would better complement Cleveland offensively at this juncture. It also helps that Mitchell is far more comfortable without the ball in his hands compared to Sexton and that would help the Cavaliers get rolling much earlier in the season.
Again, it feels unlikely that Cleveland goes out and gets Mitchell in a trade. What Utah is asking for may not be worth giving up so many assets for. But, if you believe in your heart of hearts this is a move that will make your team a championship threat, you do it.
What do you think Isaac Okoro's contract situation could look like next off-season? – Mike Villa, via Twitter
I mentioned a while ago that I'll be doing a deeper dive into what Isaac Okoro needs to do this upcoming season in order to have long-term viability with the Cavaliers. That's still in the works I promise. But, to answer this question, a lot of it does hinge on the offensive side of the ball for Okoro. He's proven up to this point in his NBA career that he's a rugged, multifaceted defender and is arguably the best perimeter defender on Cleveland's roster.
But, on offense, he's been wildly inconsistent on a night-to-night basis. Some NBA scouts have shared with Right Down Euclid that if it weren't for the Cavaliers having a breakout season, Okoro would've had more room to grow and develop more offensively. But, due to Cleveland not having the runway to allow that, it stimied him a little bit in that department. More to come on this.
What do you think of the Guardians' schedule for next season? – Beth H.
I think it's wonderful that every MLB team will play each other in the same season for the first time next year as baseball switches to its first balanced schedule since 2000. It's great for the fans.
For the Guardians, though, I think opening up next year's campaign in Seattle against the Mariners will be a good barometer of where their youth movement is at. Cleveland could be primed to take a permanent spot a the top of the AL Central after this season. But, they can't rest on the laurels of this current season. They have to surpass expectations from before.
Do you see Cedi Osman being moved in the near future? – Nation1Cavs, via Twitter
So, I'm of two schools of thought when thinking about this. I'll touch on why in a second.
In the event Collin Sexton comes back to the Cavaliers on a qualifying offer this season, with one source saying that feels more likely as of late, Cleveland will need to carve out a roster spot in order to legally have Sexton on their roster. Sure, the Cavaliers could waive either Lamar Stevens or Dean Wade and move on with Sexton in tow. But, Cleveland likes both of the aforementioned players and they have found niche roles on the team as reliable depth at key positions.
With that said, everyone seems to circle back to both Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler as the prime targets for Cleveland to trade in order to make room for Sexton. So, let's head back to school now. On one hand, Osman is a more attractive trade piece for some teams since he's a bigger wing who, in theory, provides three-point shooting and some secondary playmaking. Unfortunately, he's not a great defender and has been in the coaching staff's doghouse a few times because of it.
With Osman only making $7.43 million this season and his contract only being partially guaranteed the following year, it could make him a lot less moveable compared to Windler, who is making $4.04 million. But, Windler is entering his fourth NBA season and hasn't been able to put together consistent time together on the floor, mostly due to injury. That means that teams may turn back to Osman as the more attractive trade option between the two.
But, as a team that struggles to shoot three-pointers and has so little depth at the wing position, perhaps the Cavaliers don't look to move on from Osman. There is consistent data that says that Osman, when paired with Ricky Rubio, was a high-impact player off the bench and showed consistency for the first time in his NBA career. Maybe Cleveland looks to move Windler, bring back Sexton and then bide their time until Rubio is healthy again to obtain a more stable Osman as well.
What's with Collin Sexton fans being so intense about him? He isn't as good as people think he is! – Dean G.
Ha! There's a lot to unpack with this one and I'm almost at my word limit for this week's mailbag. So, with that said, I'm going to save this question for next week and share my full thoughts on it all. Subscribe so you don't miss it!
Featured image credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images
Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at email@example.com. Did you enjoy this edition of Right Down Euclid? You can get it in your inbox two to three times a week by subscribing here. All it takes is either your Facebook account or email address!
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