Grade the Trade: Cavaliers add star to chase the Finals in wild Fanspo proposal

Should the Cleveland Cavaliers star chase this summer?
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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After another early exit in the postseason, the New Orleans Pelicans look to be the team headed toward blockbuster trades this offseason. If the Cleveland Cavaliers are ready to take the next all-in leap toward the NBA Finals, they may be the perfect suitor for the Pels.

Since building toward a Western contender around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, New Orleans has continually inflated their salary costs. They gave CJ McCollum a long-term deal that is quickly becoming one of the league's worst contracts. While they have exciting young talent in Trey Murphy III and Herb Jones, the rest of the Pelicans' composition has created more questions than answers.

For all of their potential, the Pelicans disappoint in the postseason year after year. Williamson has yet to be healthy by the time the playoffs appear, leaving Ingram and McCollum to lead the way without the intended franchise cornerstone. With so many things going wrong for a team with a projected salary total over $200 million next season, the writing seems to be on the wall that something must change in NOLA before things get

Why the Cleveland Cavaliers and Pelicans should be trade partners

After a seven-game series victory against the Orlando Magic, the Cavaliers have advanced past the first round of the playoffs for the first time without LeBron James since 1993. With Donovan Mitchell leading the charge, the Cavs will be at a crossroads this summer in their attempts to sign Mitchell to a long-term extension. Mitchell has made his focus clear, and winning one round before being eliminated is not enough for the superstar guard.

For all the talent that Cleveland has in their young core and supporting cast, the playoffs are the true test of any team's resolve. Thus far, the Cavaliers have shown they can battle to stay competitive, but they are far from becoming a favorite to win the Finals or even make an appearance. Adding another All-Star at Mitchell's side would elevate the Cavs to a new status in the Eastern Conference, and with their lack of draft assets in hand, turning around to rebuild is no longer an option.

The Pelicans are in a similar spot, looking to retool but stay in the mix for deep postseason runs. They cannot fix their expensive roster overnight or in one offseason, and they still have reason to be committed to the potential that Williamson offers. The two aspiring contenders have every reason to make drastic upgrades this summer, and they might find one another to be a perfect candidate for those moves.