One of the topics of NBA discussion swirling around the echo chamber of the offseason is whether or not the Cleveland Cavaliers should trade All-NBA guard Donovan Mitchell. If he declines to sign a contract extension with the team this offseason, the logic goes, the Cavs have to consider trading him rather than risk losing him for nothing.
Let’s assume for the moment that the franchise does conclude that Mitchell is unlikely to sign an extension to stay with Cleveland and that they are prepared to move him for the right package. Rather than a trade return stuffed with young players and picks, and rather than trying to move Mitchell for a player at another position, what if they simply moved like-for-like?
Would Cavaliers trade Mitchell for another star guard?
The trade saga that everyone is impatiently waiting on is that of Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard has requested a trade, ideally to Miami, but we know the Cavs are not afraid to step into a deal and make an offer. What if they made an offer for Lillard?
Lillard is probably a better player than Mitchell and certainly is more established, but he also is older and more expensive. Would such a move make sense? Let’s break down what a deal would have to look like, and why the Cavaliers might consider such a move.