Grade the Trade: Cavs swap Mitchell for rival’s worst contract in B/R pitch

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t plan to trade Donovan Mitchell this offseason; that would be acknowledging defeat on the trade way too early, especially as the market has shifted in the last 12 months. They would not get the same value back that they paid for him despite the career year he just had.

There is a reasonable case to be made to move Mitchell now; if you believe that he is unlikely to re-sign in Cleveland, moving him now ensures the strongest package as he has two years remaining before he can hit free agency. That reasoning tends to make sense to those who thought the Cavs shouldn’t have ever traded for Mitchell, however, and clearly the Cleveland front office is on the other side of that line.

Which teams would be targeting Donovan Mitchell in a trade?

Any trade speculation around Donovan Mitchell is enough for teams to start calling, however. Big-market teams and/or teams that are contenders right now make sense as potential trade suitors for Mitchell, and perhaps none make as much sense as the Boston Celtics.

That was the thinking behind a recent trade idea from Bleacher Report, which ran a piece last week highlighting each team’s worst contract and building a trade idea around that player. We looked at the Cavaliers’ “worst contract trade” a few days ago, and how Max Strus could be flipped to the Brooklyn Nets for a wing.

There was another trade built involving the Cavaliers, and this one involved Donovan Mitchell heading to the Celtics in exchange for Boston’s worst contract. Let’s look at the details and then evaluate the deal from both sides.