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
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images /

Why the Cavaliers say no to this trade

If the Orlando Magic called to offer this trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers would assume they are being punked. There is absolutely no scenario where they would view the trade package coming back from the Magic as enough of a return for Donovan Mitchell, even in a scenario where he was demanding a trade out of town.

Here is the trade again:

Gary Harris is a 28-year-old role player on an expiring contract, a reasonable facsimile of a 3-and-D wing but hardly some sort of blue-chip asset. Jonathan Isaac is talented but has played just 11 games in three seasons due to injuries that he cannot seem to recover from; any career ahead of him is a surprise, not an expectation.

Yet he is seen as the centerpiece of the trade for Piercey, who writes “If Isaac can get healthy, this could be a steal for the Cavaliers.” That’s an incredible double-qualifier to be basing a trade on. He tosses in three first-round picks as if they balance out the deal, but that’s not nearly enough to make this a worthwhile trade. It probably would cost a first to simply move Isaac’s contract (he is on a partially guaranteed deal that would become fully guaranteed upon making this trade).

The only scenario where the Cavaliers are considering a Donovan Mitchell trade this offseason is to maximize his value two years out from free agency; this trade spits in the face of his value. Teams were offering more for OG Anunoby in February; Marcus Smart was worth two firsts and Tyus Jones.

Building trades that make sense is hard, so raking Piercey over the coals doesn’t make sense. Even so, this trade is an abject disaster and not even close to what a package for Mitchell should look like.

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Grade: F