Cavaliers rumors: 3 trade targets they can land, and 3 that are purely pipe dreams

Royce O'Neale and Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets
Royce O'Neale and Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Cavaliers are dreaming of Mikal Bridges

If Trey Murphy III is on a path from 3-and-D to premier scoring threat, he is following in the footsteps of Mikal Bridges. Once viewed as merely the platonic ideal of a 3-and-D wing, the 27 year old Bridges is now averaging 21.4 points per game as one of the top offensive options for the Brooklyn Nets. He doesn't look like he will make an All-Star Game, but his name should come up when making a larger list of candidates.

Similarly, if Murphy feels like an "undiscovered gem" to some fans, Bridges is a post-breakout candidate. He would similarly be a great fit on the Cavaliers, who have forever been in search of a two-way small forward. He's also likely to be quite expensive in a trade.

There have been trade ideas floated that would see Mikal Bridges coming back to Cleveland in a theoretical Donovan Mitchell trade. The value element would make sense; Bridges is good but not on the same level as Mitchell, so using him as the centerpiece of a Mitchell return (as Bridges was in the Kevin Durant trade last season) balances the equation.

The problem is that the Nets are only trading for Mitchell to pair with Bridges; the idea is to create a core of stars who can lead this team to truly contend. Trading for Mitchell only to languish on the edge of the Play-In Tournament doesn't make sense for Brooklyn. If the Cavs demand Bridges back in a Mitchell deal, the Nets hang up. They aren't moving their best player.