East Notes: Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Pacers, Heat, Free Agency


While landing the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference is a long shot for the Cavaliers, guard Donovan Mitchell seems to believe.

“You never know,” Mitchell told reporters, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I will never forget my second year (with the Jazz), we were not supposed to play the Houston Rockets. I think we had a better chance of getting struck by lightning statistically and we ended up playing them.”

  • For now, the Cavs are just trying to officially lock down the fourth seed. I wrote about that idea right here.
  • Without a doubt, Friday’s game vs. the Knicks could serve as a first-round playoff preview. “We can say what we want to and I can give you all the coach speak you can handle, but from both sides, there’s an understanding of the moment,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via Fedor. “The greatest players, the greatest teams, they always understand the moment and can raise their selves to that.”


Point guard Tyrese Haliburton and shooting guard Buddy Hield may not play again this season, coach Rick Carlisle said.

“They’ll be listed however they’re listed game-to-game,” Carlisle said, via Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star. “If you’re asking if it’s possible that they don’t play anymore, yeah, it’s possible. It’s not impossible that one of them would play, but we’re going game to game with it.”

  • In case you missed it, the Pacers officially added shooting guard Gabe York on a two-way deal, just as they did at the end of last season. We have more details here.
  • York said he was thankful for another shot with Indiana. “Thankful for the Pacers organization for giving me another chance and I just look forward to getting out there,” he said, via Dopirak.


Forward Max Strus, power forward Kevin Love and guard Gabe Vincent will be the Heat’s only unrestricted free agents this summer, as noted by Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

Strus admitted it’s on his mind as the regular season comes to a close.

“It wouldn’t be human to not think about it,” Strus said, via Jackson and Chiang. “I wouldn’t say it’s added pressure or anything like that.”

  • Along with the aforementioned, longtime center/forward Udonis Haslem is retiring, and guard Victor Oladipo has a player option for $9.5 million. 

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