Trade No. 3: Mobley to New Orleans
What if instead of looking for a team that both needs Evan Mobley and has a star forward to pursue, the Cavaliers built out a deal with a third team to land the right players on each roster? It would allow the Cavaliers to get the star they want while routing Mobley to a third team.
The Utah Jazz have an All-Star forward that the Cavaliers are quite familiar with, but they don't particularly need Evan Mobley given the strong start to his career that Walker Kessler has had. Yet the New Orleans Pelicans need to find a center who can protect the rim and unlock two-way lineups with Zion Williamson at the 4.
Here's how all of that could come together:
The Pelicans get a young stud at center to build around, and defensively he protects Zion and Brandon Ingram beautifully. The Pels would be best served by someone who can both defend the rim and shoot from deep, given Zion's shooting woes, but there are maybe four of those players in the entire league and they aren't for sale. Mobley is a great player to build around for New Orleans.
The Utah Jazz have made it clear that they don't want to trade Lauri Markkanen, but for the right price they may consider it. Trey Murphy III could one day be just as good as Markkanen, and he should thrive in Will Hardy's system in Utah. Dyson Daniels would be an upgrade on Kris Dunn at point guard, and Georges Niang returns to Utah to replace some of the role vacated by Markkanen.
The Cavaliers get back the one who got away, turning Mobley's defense into Markkanen's offense. The Finnish forward is a much better fit for the Cavaliers' recent offensive system than the more stagnant sets they ran when Markkanen was starting at the 3. He would give Cleveland an incredible scoring threat at forward and still bring a lot of size to bear on opponents.
Do any of these trades interest you? Let us know what you think, and sit tight to see just what the Cavaliers do this trad