Grade the Trade: Cavaliers deal Mitchell in bombastic three-team pitch

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Do the Cavaliers make this deal?

Let's set aside the question of whether or not the Cavaliers want to trade Donovan Mitchell; we know, based on every available bit of reporting, that they are telling teams and the media that they do not want to. That's fine. Let's evaluate this deal based on its merit, not its likelihood of happening.

Tyler Herro is an extremely talented offensive player, a scorer at all three levels who is averaging a career-best 22.4 points and 4.5 assists, shooting 41.2 percent from deep on a steady volume. Yet he also is a defensive liability and the Heat have often played better when he is not in the lineup.

The Cavaliers can swap him in for Caris LeVert as a Sixth Man and maximize his strengths while minimizing his weaknesses by not playing him against the opposing team's starters. He has more juice than LeVert and would be the league's best scoring threat off the bench.

Keeping Herro on the bench would allow Max Strus to start at the 2 and Jerami Grant at the 3 in a jumbo lineup. He is a strong defender and scorer who would give the Cavs a lot of size in the frontcourt, and he could serve as the secondary option in the starting lineup, depending on the development of Evan Mobley.

Adding two players at the levels of Herro and Grant would be an intriguing move to make, but it also would represent a downgrade from Mitchell to a pair of Top-50 guys. The Cavs would get deeper, and their starting lineup more versatile, but their playoff upside would likely be significantly lowered. If Garland is ready to take the leap, great, but how much better would the Cavs be if they simply had Mitchell around when Garland went nuclear?

This is the kind of thinking-outisde-of-the-box trade offer that the Cavaliers should consider, but in the end giving up a No. 1 option for two talented-but-inferior players lowers this team's ceiling. It's not the kind of move the Cavaliers want to make if they have visions of contention in the near future.

Grade: B-

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