1 dream, 1 nightmare, 1 realistic trade for Darius Garland and Cavaliers

Darius Garland's future in Cleveland is uncertain this summer.
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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A realistic deal for the Cavaliers

In truth, dealing Garland would include finding a young team on the verge of contention in need of a true point guard leader. This postseason, the Cavaliers may have thwarted the efforts of the team that may be the best realistic trade partner this summer. The Orlando Magic employ an array of young talented who complement the Cavs' efforts and stars and can offer a stack of draft picks, as well. Orlando will be on the market for a backcourt leader this summer and have been linked to Garland on occasion already.

Garland to Orlando trade

In the final deal, the Cavaliers send Garland to their conference opponent in exchange for two of the Magic's most promising two-way players and two of Orlando's own first-round picks in 2026 and 2028. After season after season battling brutal injuries, Jonathan Isaac returned to the court last year and played a pivotal role in the Magic establishing a fearsome defense and reaching the playoffs. Isaac also shot 37.5 percent from deep this summer, making him one of Orlando's best perimeter shooters.

The 6-foot-10 forward could solve Cleveland's issues with an undersized wing rotation, becoming their go-to 3-and-D wing. After this trade, the Cavaliers would likely roll out a starting lineup with Mitchell, Max Strus, Isaac, Mobley and Jarrett Allen. The size, shooting and star power could overwhelm opponents while keeping Cleveland's depth intact.

Alongside Isaac, the Cavaliers find a perfect backup center in Wendell Carter, Jr. Carter has faced his own injury woes in his career, but he has stayed healthy in recent year. With Cleveland, Carter would come off the bench behind Allen and Mobley, putting him in position to avoid overworking and getting hurt. Last season, Carter led the Magic frontcourt with 6.9 rebounds per game and a 37.4 percent three-point shot on 3.1 attempts per game. In Cleveland, Carter adds needed versatility as a stretch big and physical rebounder.

Finally, Cleveland could add two draft picks back into their arsenal since the Magic get the best player in the deal. The draft compensation gives the Cavs breathing room going forward either to add a future rookie on a cost-controlled contract or packaging them into another trade.

Overall, the trade market for Darius Garland could bring plenty back, but the Cleveland Cavaliers may be happier keeping him in town. Building around the core and giving Atkinson a chance to formulate a better offensive system could prove to be the best path forward. But, in a world where Garland asks out, the Cavs can find a reasonable return to complement and elevate their team.

Next. 1 dream, 1 reach, 1 realistic wing trade target for Cavaliers. 1 dream, 1 reach, 1 realistic wing trade target for Cavaliers. dark