Grade the Trade: Cavaliers buy at deadline, adding Hawks forward in proposal

Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers
Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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After remaining silent at the trade deadline a year ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers have their eyes fixed on adding another 3-and-D forward to their roster.

The Cavaliers decimated a Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Milwaukee Bucks to extend their win streak to six games and secure their place at fourth in the East for the time being. With their sudden success and new-look offense ahead of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley returning, Cleveland looks like a squad ready to make another leap forward in their title chase.

With a looming omen regarding Donovan Mitchell's contract extension this offseason, the Cavaliers will likely look to bolster their roster at the trade deadline, further incentivizing their All-Star guard to trust in the Cavs as his best home for the long-term. If they can make a deep run in the playoffs, then Cleveland suddenly looks much more appealing to Mitchell rather than taking a chance with another borderline contender.

Finding the right trade partner

With the February 8 trade deadline only weeks away, the NBA is buzzing with potential trades from each of its thirty franchises. Several teams are appearing to be sellers after a disappointing start to a potentially hopeful season. One team in particular has a young dynamic duo with a dismal supporting cast surrounding them. With Trae Young and Jalen Johnson evolving on the Atlanta Hawks, the Cavs' conference rival are barely clinging to a Play-In spot through 40 games.

Rumors continue to swirl around the future of Dejounte Murray after joining the Hawks less than two years ago. Should Atlanta pivot to reorient toward the future, a number of current Hawks players should be available at the deadline. Most recently, the Cavs have been linked to De'Andre Hunter of the Hawks as a potential mid-season acquisition.

It would not be the first time the Cavs dealt for a floor-spacing wing from the Hawks in a bid for the title. In 2017, Cleveland added legendary shooter Kyle Korver in a trade with Atlanta, but the parties have seldom completed many trades with one another over the years.