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Windhorst: Knicks Thought Evan Mobley’s Contract Would Limit Cavs’ Mitchell Pursuit

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Evan Mobley is really a young foundation for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the brand new York Knicks reportedly thought Cleveland wouldn’t go all-in on a Donovan Mitchell trade predicated on how it might impact its capability to re-sign the big man down the road.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t RealGM) explained the Cavaliers’ decision to trade for Mitchell caught the Knicks off guard:

“Frankly, I believe once the Knicks were negotiating contrary to the Cavs, the Knicks knew that the Cavs were bidding against them. The Knicks, I believe, thought these were bidding against themselves. And I believe among the explanations why the Knicks weren’t 100 percent certain the Cavs were likely to go all-in is basically because these were saying, ‘Well, the Cavs can’t trade for Donovan Mitchell since it will handcuff them on Evan Mobley.'”

RealGM broke down the problem with Mobley, noting the Cavaliers cannot have three five-year designated rookie-scale max-extension players on the roster simultaneously.

Since Mitchell and Darius Garland fit that designation, Mobley will never be in a position to sign a five-year max extension in 2024 when he could be eligible if they’re both still on the roster. Cleveland can instead either provide USC product a four-year max extension in 2024 and potentially see him hit the open market earlier or wait to sign him to a five-year max in 2025 when he could be a restricted free agent.

It wouldn’t have already been surprising if the Cavaliers prioritized the Mobley situation considering that he could be just 21 yrs . old and coming off an All-Rookie season that saw him average 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 50.8 percent from the field, however the possibility to pair him with Mitchell became too enticing.

That decision ended an offseason filled up with Mitchell rumors that almost managed to get seem inevitable the former Utah Jazz star would find yourself on the Knicks.

He even told reporters during his introductory press conference he thought he was headed to ny:

ClutchPoints @ClutchPointsApp

“I thought for certain I was heading back home, I’m not gonna lie about this.”@spidadmitchell on being hopeful he was going home to play for the Knickspic.twitter.com/jKWmYFK7tB

Instead, the Cavaliers have one of the better young cores in the league due to the trade. Garland, Mobley and Jarrett Allen spearheaded a set you back the play-in tournament last season, however the addition of Mitchell ensures there exists a go-to scorer set up who has proved he is able to dominate in the largest moments.

The three-time All-Star averaged 23.9 points per game in the standard season during his time with the Jazz but elevated that to 28.3 points per game in the postseason.

The hope in Cleveland is he’ll have a lot of opportunities to create on those playoff numbers prior to the team even must be worried about Mobley’s contract.

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