Donovan Mitchell agrees to a 3-year, $150.3M contract extension with the Cavaliers, AP source says


CLEVELAND — Donovan Mitchell isn’t taking his talents anywhere. Not yet, anyway.

The five-time All-Star guard has agreed to a three-year, $150.3 million contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Mitchell’s choice to commit to the Cavaliers had been expected for some time. Still, there was plenty of anxiety inside Cleveland’s fanbase, which cannot forget LeBron James leaving the franchise as a free agent in 2010 for Miami.

The 27-year-old Mitchell spent much of this past season saying he’s happy playing with Cleveland, which acquired him in a 2022 trade from Utah. The Cavs have made the playoffs in both seasons with Mitchell, one of the league’s best all-around guards.

He agreed to the extension in Los Angeles over the weekend, according to the person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the NBA prohibits deals from being announced until its moratorium ends on Saturday. ESPN was first to report Mitchell’s agreement.

The extension includes a $54 million player option for the 2027-28 season, the person said. Mitchell was under contract for one more season. Technically, Mitchell’s new deal means he can become a free agent in three years, raising the Cavs’ urgency to compete for a title.

The new deal also allows Mitchell to reach a 10-year criteria, making him eligible for a next extension worth $380 million.

Shortly after word of Mitchell’s extension emerged, he posted a video on social media from the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” in which actor Leonardo DiCaprio profanely announces to his colleagues, “I’m not leaving.”

Mitchell also went on Instagram to reiterate his commitment to Cleveland with a video of him driving and discussing his extension.

“All year I’ve been saying the same (stuff),” Mitchell said while driving. “I’m saying how much I like it every day. It’s like, ‘Oh, he going to do this. He going to do that.’ I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I think it’s hilarious.

“It’s what it is, but I’m glad I got this (stuff) done, man. Glad I got this (stuff) done in Cleveland. Now to get focused. You know what I’m saying? Let’s get to it.”

Mitchell was in LA hosting his “Spida Elite” basketball camp for some of the nation’s top high school guards. He was visited by Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman and Cavs coach Kenny Atkinson, who was formally introduced by the team at a news conference on Monday.

Atkinson, who was Golden State’s top assistant the past three seasons, said he and Mitchell chatted mostly about family during their time together. Altman said Mitchell reaffirmed his commitment to the Cavs.

“We feel good about Donovan,” Altman said Monday. “He’s in a great space mentally. He’s healthy. Really enjoyed the fact that him and Kenny could sit down and talk about the future, talk about the team.

“He’s invested. He’s really invested in what we’re doing. Hopefully soon we’ll have more of a decisive answer on that for you, but he’s been great. He’s been super involved and super collaborative and very, very much pro-Cleveland.”

The Cavs’ bold move — they traded three unprotected first-round picks, forward Lauri Markkanen and guard Collin Sexton to Utah — to get Mitchell two years ago was a surprise.

It appeared he was on his way to play for his hometown New York Knicks before Cleveland swooped in. Mitchell’s arrival accelerated the Cavs’ rebuild, which began when James left as a free agent for the second time in 2018 for the Lakers.

Mitchell averaged 26.6 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds this past season, but he was limited to just 55 games because of a left knee injury. Mitchell was slowed by the injury in the playoffs and pushed through before sitting out Cleveland’s final two games in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a calf injury.

The Cavs were eliminated in five games by the eventual champion Boston Celtics and fired coach J.B. Bickerstaff a week later.

In two seasons with Cleveland, Mitchell has averaged 27.5 points, 5.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds. He scored a career-high 71 in his first season in a game against Chicago.

Atkinson understands his charge is to get the most out of Cleveland’s “Core 4” of players — Mitchell, guard Darius Garland, forward Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen. He also believes there’s another level to Mitchell’s game and wants to make him one of the league’s top five players.

“Why not?” Atkinson said. “With the skill level and the athleticism and the human being, I don’t see why we can’t.”

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba



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