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Donovan Mitchell likely out for Game 5; Lakers, Nets among teams reportedly lining up trade offers

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Due to the calf injury that kept him out of Game 4, Donovan Mitchell is expected to be out for the Cavaliers’ Game 5 in Boston on Wednesday night, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. He did not participate in shootaround in the morning, nor did Jarrett Allen or Caris LeVert, both of whom are listed as questionable.

Regardless of who plays, this feels like it will be the final game of the Cleveland Cavaliers season. They trail the Celtics 3-1 and Boston will want to close this series out at home and get plenty of rest while waiting for the Knicks/Pacers series winner.

If this is the end for Cleveland, hard questions await this offseason.

At the front of the line of questions: Will Mitchell sign an extension to stay in Cleveland? He has one year left on his contract at $35.4 million. This summer, the Cavaliers will put a max contract extension on the table in front of him for four years and an estimated $199 million. If he signs it, he remains the focal point of the Cavaliers in the future; if he does not, Cleveland will be forced to consider trades for him so that he doesn’t walk for nothing as a free agent in 2025.

Teams are already lining up offers for a potential Mitchell trade, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Get Up.

“I’m trying to walk the line, because I don’t want anybody to freak out in my hometown of Cleveland, but there a number of teams that have their offers ready. They’re ready,”

He said the Lakers and Nets are two of those teams. Mitchell has long been linked to the Knicks, but that team is one game away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and is not focused on Mitchell at this point, Windhorst added. Because he has just one year left on his existing contract, Mitchell will have leverage in where he is traded (he can tell a team trying to trade for him that he will not re-sign with them).

If Mitchell signs an extension and chooses to stay in Cleveland, there will still be changes. Is Darius Garland on the trade block because that backcourt pairing has not been smooth? Do the Nets move on from Jarrett Allen and turn the center position over to Evan Mobley? Is J.B. Bickerstaff back to coach the team?

Changes are coming to the Cavaliers this summer. Which ones will hinge on Mitchell’s decision on an extension.

But first, there is Game 5 in Boston.

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