Grade the Trade: Cleveland Cavaliers win Miami Heat sweepstakes sizzling proposal

The Jimmy Butler era in Miami may end sooner than expected, and the Cleveland Cavaliers could come out on top.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat
Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Do the Cavs say yes?

As mentioned, agreeing to a deal for Butler puts the Cavaliers on a definite win-now timeline and forces them to commit to a long-term max extension for a player on the wrong side of 30 years old. Cleveland has rarely been in the business of taking such a massive leap of faith, especially if it means surrendering both of their best trade assets this summer.

Butler averaged 20.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last regular season, adding five assists each night, too. His defensive intensity and relentless work ethic would excite nearly every Cavaliers fan, but his recent injury concerns and price tag should raise some red flags. If Butler cannot stay healthy, the Cavs quickly look like the losers in this trade, despite adding two other reliable wings with Caleb Martin and Josh Richardson.

The easiest opposition to Butler in Cleveland is his low volume from three-point range, but this undervalues the impact his masterful mid-range game and tough shot making brings to the table. Butler can create his own shot or play off-ball with either a guard or big man facilitating. Distilling offensive fit down to one shot diet is necessary at times with role players or finding specialists, but star players bring much more to a team than one talent. Rivals cannot ignore Butler from the perimeter, but they also have to cover him in the mid-range and paint just as much. When opponents are always nervous to leave a player open, the floor spacing is there regardless.

Martin and Richardson are solid two-way wings, but they could not make up for Butler's absence if he is again injured in the postseason. Even if Mitchell signs an extension this summer, the Cavs should not risk entering next summer with an unhappy superstar guard who can still request a trade. Additionally, the Cavaliers miss out on Miami's best trade asset - Jaquez. The 23-year-old forward stood out as a premier rookie last season after going under the radar all summer. If the Cavs lose Garland and Allen, coming back without a young star who fits Mobley's timeline is a failure. Unfortunately, the price to acquire Jaquez and Butler is far too astronomical for the Cavaliers to meet it with a depleted pool of draft assets to offer.

Butler to Cavs trade grade. B-. . . Final Trade Grade

In a vacuum, Butler on the Wine and Gold makes perfect sense and makes the Cavaliers true contenders, even if it means trading Garland and Allen. Butler's injury woes and rising age paired with Jaquez staying in Miami make this deal uninspiring. Additionally, Butler's dramatics with previous teams on his way out might leave a bad taste in onlookers' mouths, though nobody will know the full stories behind Butler's departure from the Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need to explore the trade market with an intention on building around Mitchell and Mobley; however, Butler does not fit the timeline or the needs of the team enough to warrant the asking price and long-term commitment.

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