1. Donovan Mitchell
The Mitchell rumors are already starting to heat up. The four-time All-Star did not sign an extension in the offseason and can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2024-25 season. Cleveland should not be panicked yet, but the Cavaliers must make a deep postseason run to keep Mitchell on their roster.
It was a rough start, but three straight wins have the Cavs at 7-6 and eighth in the Eastern Conference. It is still early, but will confidence wane if Cleveland remains in the Play-In Tournament mix in February? The Cavaliers need to trade Mitchell for a massive return, so doing it with one full year-plus remaining on his deal could be the answer.
Mitchell solves a lot of issues for the Spurs. He is an elite scorer and floor spacer who would instantly create a lethal duo with Victor Wembanyama. The 6’3 guard’s defense has been a concern, but he has produced several massive playoff performances. Mitchell is a four-time All-Star and would instantly make San Antonio a feared team in the Western Conference.
The Spurs are unlikely to trade Keldon Johnson before the deadline. They are slowly building things around Wemby and want to give the teenager time to develop. San Antonio could be in the market for a star and a 3-and-D wing next summer, which may put Johnson on the trade block. It gives the 24-year-old plenty of time to prove he fits with what the Spurs are building.