Grade the Trade: Cavaliers trade Mitchell for peanuts in blockbuster proposal

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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Cleveland Cavaliers
Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /

Laying out the trade for Donovan Mitchell

As just discussed, it can be difficult to find trade suitors for superstar players and then build a balanced trade package for both sides. That difficult task is one that James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network attempted, and it appears that the degree of difficulty was a bit too high:

The underlying logic is there. The Orlando Magic could be looking to take the next step this season, and the middle of the Eastern Conference isn’t exactly daunting; they could forsee a leap similar to the Cleveland Cavaliers two seasons ago, going from lottery team to Play-In team. Adding Donovan Mitchell would help them do that.

At the same time, the Magic don’t want to rush things. They have built a talented young core and breaking that group up too soon would likely be a mistake. The future of the Magic is built on Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero, and whatever moves they make should try to be alongside those two budding stars.

From the Magic’s viewpoint, then, this deal looks like a slam dunk. Not only do they keep their forward pairing intact, they also keep starting center Wendell Carter Jr. As well as starting point guard Markelle Fultz, recent Top-10 guards in Jalen Suggs and Anthony Black, and reserves like Cole Anthony and Jett Howard. Mitchell joins this young group and will immediately elevate them, without sacrificing the path to a deep and talented roster that can compete for years.

The problem with this deal, then, is on the Cavaliers’ side.