4 Cavaliers Playing Their Final Postseason in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers are entering a pivotal postseason. It may be the last playoffs in a Cavs jersey for a few key players.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Darius Garland

This is a similar situation to the Mobley vs. Allen conundrum. Garland is a fan favorite and he has been a great member of the franchise through thick and thin.

But, his progress has stagnated and his fit with Donovan Mitchell is still not ideal.

The Cavaliers would need to know what Donovan Mitchell wants to do with his future before making a decision on Garland. If Mitchell wants to stay long-term, trading Garland for a more defensive-focused wing makes plenty of sense. If Mitchell is going to test free agency after the 2024-25 season as some reports indicate, then he should be the one to be moved this offseason.

Garland is averaging 18.1 points and 6.6 assists this season on 44.5/36.5/83.4 shooting splits. That is a significant decline across the board from his previous two years of production.

Of course, he was out with a broken jaw for over a month, a serious injury that prevented him from eating properly. That certainly impacted his development. But another season like this next year and his trade value is at risk of tanking.

Lineups with Garland and Mitchell together are physically too overmatched. We saw that in the playoff series against the Knicks last season. Giving the ball to Mitchell full-time, letting him run the show while surrounding him with 3-and-D types of players might be a better option than pairing him with Garland.