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Cleveland Cavaliers offseason could quickly go from bad to worse

The Cavs may have to choose one of their two guards…and big men?



Jan 14, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) is helped off the court by guard Donovan Mitchell (45) and center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Weeks of heavy Donovan Mitchell trade speculation with links to a handful of teams. The uncertain future of head coach JB Bickerstaff. These coming on the heels of an Eastern Conference semifinals playoff loss. It’s already been an eventful offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rumors have surrounded Mitchell for most of the season, but they’ve quickly picked up steam. He’s long been expected to decline his player option for the 2025-26 season, which would make him a free agent after next year. Now, there’s word he might sign a long-term extension with the Cavs.

If that does indeed happen, there are rumors that backcourt mate Darius Garland may be the one who forces his exit from Cleveland.

And the franchise may be having similar issues with its big men.

Cleveland Cavaliers may have to choose between Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

Mobley was the third overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He burst onto the scene as a rookie, but his growth has somewhat stagnated since. That could be due to the presence of Allen, another 7-footer who, like Mobley, isn’t much of a floor spacer.

Mobley’s offensive numbers dipped this season, but he remains an intriguing athlete at 6-foot-11 and a potential shut-down defender who’s only 22 years old. Allen was an All-Star in 2021-22 and averaged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds this season, but he only played four of Cleveland’s 12 postseason games.

Per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t Bleacher Report), the Cavaliers are expected to offer Mobley a max contract extension, regardless of what happens between Mitchell and Garland. To exacerbate the issue, the Cavs are a much more successful offensive team with just one of their bigs on the floor. Mobley played better when Allen was injured, and vice versa.

There isn’t room for two non-shooting big men on the floor in today’s NBA.

The team offering Mobley an extension signals that they want to build around him and Mitchell/Garland. All the same, it will have to be either Mobley or Allen this offseason for the Cavs, just like it appears it will have to be Mitchell or Garland.

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Andrew Hanlon is the Assistant Editor for The Dunk Central. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and has been writing about sports professionally for more than a decade. He started out covering local high school sports before transitioning into a full-time NBA connoisseur. He has been published on FanSided, SBNation and Sportscasting.