Grading the Trade for the Cavaliers
On the surface, the idea of trading for Draymond Green seems ludicrous; he seems out of control, racking up ejections and suspensions and seemingly unable to take responsibility and control his actions. At the same time, that could have been said of Green in 2016 when he arguably cost the Warriors the 2016 championship, and he came back and was a crucial part of three more title teams, two of them over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If the Cavaliers believe that these outbursts will not continue in such a way that Green will be permanently suspended, Green is still a tremendous defensive player and offensive playmaker. His problems with the league could be opening up a buy-low window for the Cavaliers or any other team to try and capitalize on.
Green can allow a team to unlock any defensive system, and the versatility of Green and Evan Mobley together is through the roof. They could switch, blitz, zone up or any combination of the three; they are comfortable in space, lethal at the rim and savvy coming in off the weakside for a block or steal. Allen is a solid rock that allows Mobley to roam; Green and Mobley together would be a pair of heat-seeking missiles.
On offense, Green's playmaking would allow Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland to flex their off-ball muscles, let alone the dribble handoff chemistry that Green could build with Max Strus. On a team that has lacked postseason experience, Green brings more than nearly anyone in the league, and his brand of basketball has proven to be even more effective in the playoffs than in the regular season.
At the same time, Green is also eight years older than Jarrett Allen, and at some point will begin to lose effectiveness as he ages. If he loses even a little speed and athleticism it could all fall apart for Green, otherwise a severely undersized big who is a below-average shooter.
The other big piece of this trade is that the Cavs may not be "buying low" on an All-Defense forward; they could be buying high on a player on the precipice of careening out of the league entirely. He might get his act together and be largely available for a team that trades for him; he might also start flailing in another week or month and get suspended for a year. Green came off of a suspension and proceeded clobber Jusuf Nurkic just a handful of games later; he is not instilling confidence in his self-control.
Ultimately, the Cavaliers' core and their convincing of Donovan Mitchell cannot rely on a player as unreliable as Draymond Green. Cleveland has emphasized culture in building this team, and Green would not only be a threat to that, he might be a wrecking ball. He would undeniably be an on-court asset to the Cavs, but he may not even be on the court. This is a deal they have to pass on.
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