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Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell still not committing to long-term deal despite confidence from team owner

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert recently expressed his belief that Donovan Mitchell would sign a contract extension with the team.

“We’ve been talking with him, of course, for a few years about extending this contract,” Gilbert said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “We think he’s going to extend. I think if you listen to him talk, he loves the city.

However, Mitchell, who signed a five-year contract with the Utah Jazz in 2020, took a more measured approach in responding to Gilbert’s comments.

“I have a lot of things to focus on outside of that right now, to be honest,” Mitchell told reporters Saturday. “I have to focus on myself, getting over (his knee injury) for this group, focusing on us being able to get through this streak, continuing to be ready when the time comes.”

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Donovan Mitchell free throw

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell shoots a free throw during the second half of a game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 28, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

According to the NBA collective bargaining agreement, the quintuple NBA star is eligible to sign a four-year extension this summer. The contract could reach an estimated value of $200 million.

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“I’ll deal with it when it happens,” Mitchell said of extension talks. “I’ll give you the same answer.”

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Mitchell’s response likely comes from the NBA guard’s desire to keep his options open. The 27-year-old is having another stellar season, averaging 27.1 points and a career-high 6.1 assists per game.

Donovan Mitchell disappears

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) goes to the basket in front of New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) in the first half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA playoff series, April 23, 2023, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Cleveland acquired him in a blockbuster trade shortly before the 2022-23 season. The team saw him as perhaps the final piece to compete for an NBA championship along with young stars Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

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Injuries have limited Mitchell to 49 games this season. Friday’s match against Philadelphia 76ers marked Mitchell’s first since March 16. He finished with 12 points in 32 minutes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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