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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Would the Cavaliers say yes?

The Cleveland Cavaliers don't want to trade Donovan Mitchell; that's been widely reported in recent days. They invested a lot to add him and still have optimism for what this group can accomplish. For the sake of this conversation, let's assume that they have either seen the writing on the wall and want to maximize the return for Mitchell, or that he has told the team he doesn't plan to re-sign.

In the ideal scenario, the Cavaliers would be adding win-now help as well as picks and prospects to use in upgrading the team now or down the road. The Cavs own this year's draft pick and then the Utah Jazz control the next five drafts; they won't be tanking anytime soon. Nor can they with Darius Garland and Evan Mobley forming the foundation of their team for the next half-decade.

That's what makes this deal from the Heat so intriguing. Herro can step into Mitchell's spot in the starting lineup and provide a lot of scoring punch, while allowing Garland to spread his wings a bit further. Jaquez Jr. would be a versatile forward to pair with Dean Wade and Georges Niang off the bench or even a replacement in the starting lineup if the Cavs move on from Jarrett Allen in a separate transaction.

Is the on-court talent enough to only get back a single first-round pick? That would sting after giving up three firsts and two swaps for Mitchell, but the Cavs can't be concerned with winning the press conference. They need to find the best package available whether or not it is draft-pick heavy.

The counterpoint to this trade is that Herro, for all of his offensive punch, offers even more of a defensive issue playing alongside Garland in the backcourt. Jaquez is solid but doesn't offer star upside, and the first coming back is likely to be late in the first round. Should the Cavs look for a package with more of a shot at a star?

This is a solid deal, but the Cavaliers have to hope they can do better. Perhaps that's exacting more draft capital from the Heat or perhaps it's building a deal with another team. This would be a livable return, but not the best one out there.

Grade: B-