May 11, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) stands on the court in the second quarter of game three of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Has Donovan Mitchell played his final game for the Cleveland Cavaliers?

That’s the question Cavs fans — and the rest of the NBA — are asking.

As Cleveland enters its Game 5 matchup in the Eastern Conference Semifinals trailing the Boston Celtics three games to one, Mitchell is set to miss his second consecutive game with a calf strain. With the Cavs on the brink of elimination, it’s conceivable — if not likely — that the five-time All-Star has played his final game of the 2023-24 season.

That could also mean the end of Mitchell’s time in Cleveland, as the 27-year-old enter will enter this offseason with just one year remaining on his contract. And while the Cavs will surely attempt to sign him to an extension this offseason, if he declines to do so, that could leave Cleveland with no choice but to shop its star player in a trade.

That would certainly be music to the ears of several teams across the league, which would assuredly jump at the opportunity to acquire the 2023 All-NBA second-team selection. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday morning, Brian Windhorst addressed Mitchell’s uncertain future in Cleveland and which teams could potentially inquire about a trade.

“I don’t think Donovan will ever say, ‘I don’t want to be in Cleveland,'” Windhorst said. “But the question is, for an organization and ownership who have lost players like LeBron [James], if Donovan simply says, ‘I love it here and I’m not going to extend,’ what do they do? Do they roll the dice with this team again? Or do they say, ‘No way, we gotta take action.’ And that is a huge potential question coming for June and July.

“There are an number of teams that have their offers ready,” Windhorst added.

Which teams? Windhorst pointed to the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets as potential suitors.

When it comes to the Lakers, it’s worth noting that James was sitting courtside for the Cavs’ Game 4 loss in Cleveland and that Los Angeles would reportedly be willing to trade third-year guard Austin Reaves for a “bonafide All-Star” — which Mitchell would certainly qualify as. Meanwhile, the Nets lay claim to multiple first-round picks from the Phoenix Suns, which could prove valuable considering Kevin Durant’s own uncertain future with the franchise.

As for whether a deal will come to fruition, it’s always possible that Mitchell will simply sign his extension and remain with the Cavs. But if he doesn’t, it won’t take long for the trade offers for the Louisville product to pour in.

[Get Up]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.