Grade the Trade: Cavaliers swap center for forward in midseason deal

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Do the Cavaliers accept this trade?

The question now swings back the other way, to the Cleveland Cavaliers trying to improve their roster balance and field the best possible lineups. Jerami Grant can start at power forward next to Evan Mobley, providing a mobile defensive option who can defend both forward positions and also provide decent team defense.

On offense, Grant shot 40.1 percent from deep on solid volume last year, his fifth-straight season shooting at least 35 percent from deep. He can open up the court as a shooter and also do some on-ball creation as the situation allows. Grant isn’t the best passer, but he’ll be playing with Darius Garland and Evan Mobley.

The downside to such a move is seen in the clock; Grant is five years older than Jarrett Allen, putting even more strain on Cleveland to win now. Grant helps the Cavs maximize the next two years with Donovan Mitchell, but his increasing contract could dovetail with the age-related decline of his play and result in a bad situation by the end of the deal.

These next two years are the ones to maximize, though, and Grant’s fit with Mobley is a better one than with Allen, likely a step worse on defense and two steps better on offense. Any trade to break up the Allen-Mobley duo is both painful and risky, but this deal looks like a way to actually improve the team’s chances of winning a title. That makes it worth making.

Next. Ranking the 12 worst trades in Cleveland Cavaliers history. dark

Grade: B+