Grade the Trade: Cavaliers deal Mitchell to Heat in blockbuster proposal

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers and Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers and Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Laying out a Heat trade proposal

The Miami Heat package of assets has been well examined this year, as they were viewed as the top suitor for Damian Lillard until the Milwaukee Bucks swooped into the picture. They have a trio of guards making substantial money to use as the starting point for matching salary in a trade: Kyle Lowry (on an expiring contract), Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro.

Of the three, Herro is the only one to hold clear positive value. Herro makes $27 million this season in the first year of a four-year, $120 million extension. Although he missed a stretch of games due to injury, when he has been on the court he has been a prolific scorer, averaging 23.6 points per game and shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range.

From there, the Heat would love to include a lower-range role player, be that Caleb Martin or Kevin Love, to get the salary up into the necessary range. That works just fine for the Cavaliers, who would benefit from adding either the versatile two-way forward Martin or setting up a reunion with old friend Kevin Love.

The difficult part of the negotiations will be the value on top of the salaries in draft picks and prospects. The Heat may like to include multiple draft picks and keep their young talent, but the Cavs would almost certainly force Jaime Jaquez Jr. to be a part of any deal. Let's assume their leverage is enough for Miami to include the All-Rookie candidate in the deal. In that case, the trade would look something like this:

Mitchell to Heat 1

The Heat land their star guard, one young enough to pair with Bam Adebayo to lead this team even as Jimmy Butler begins to age. He essentially serves as an upgrade on the Tyler Herro role, raising Miami's ceiling and placing them firmly in contention to win the Eastern Conference. Giving up Jaquez Jr. hurts, but his upside appears to be a solid role player, not a star on the level of Mitchell.

If the Heat were willing to make this offer, would the Cavaliers say yes? Should they? Let's examine the deal from Cleveland's point of view and give this trade a final grade.