Grade the Trade: Cavaliers deal Donovan Mitchell in ESPN-approved pitch

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers pushed a lot of chips into the middle of the table last summer, sending a pile of picks and three players to the Utah Jazz in exchange for dynamic shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. The move paid off in 2022-23, with the Cavs leaping up to 51 wins and finishing with the league’s second-best point differential.

While the team did lose in the first round in a definitive fashion, the future is bright in Cleveland. Yet there is also the looming specter of Mitchell’s free agency, which could come as early as the summer of 2025. Given that Mitchell is unlikely to sign an extension this offseason, that dark end of the road will be looming for at least another season.

Should the Cavaliers trade Donovan Mitchell?

When discussing whether Mitchell would sign the extension, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps was his usual blunt self on The Hoop Collective podcast. His opinion is that Mitchell is never going to sign an extension to stay in Cleveland (implying he would prefer a team like the New York Knicks) and he said that the Cavs should trade him this summer while his value is the highest.

What would it look like to “sell high” on Mitchell? Let’s say another team, emboldened by Mitchell not signing the extension, jumps in and makes an offer for Spida. What would that deal look like? And could it entice the Cavaliers? Let’s lay out the deal and take a closer look.