Grade the Trade: Mitchell heads home as Cavaliers retool in monumental new pitch

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a busy offseason one way or the other. Would this trade to send Donovan Mitchell home be enough to pull the trigger?
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Laying out a trade to send Mitchell home

The Cleveland Cavaliers are not likely to trade Donovan Mitchell for a package purely of draft picks and prospects. They aren't looking to rebuild, but rather find a better balance on their roster and get ahead of Mitchell walking in free agency next summer. Trading Mitchell means looking to pursue the playoffs around Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and (if he also remains on the team) Jarrett Allen.

That becomes a difficulty when trading Mitchell to teams that are trying to contend themselves. It's possible that means pulling in a third team, but for now let's see what a package directly from the Brooklyn Nets looks like.

As mentioned previously, the Nets are incentivized to provide a large trade package because they need that No. 1 star. Additionally, given that Mitchell grew up in the greater New York City area, the Nets represent a homecoming that should only further incentivize him to commit long-term in Brooklyn.

With that context in mind, let's look at a trade offer built by Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report. He rightly assumed that the Nets would want to keep Mikal Bridges if they were trading for Mitchell, and the Cavaliers wouldn't value Nic Claxton in the deal. That leads to a package that looks something like this:

Mitchell Nets trade

The Nets instantly take a step up the ladder in the Eastern Conference, with a pair of stars who fit together like a glove. Mitchell's on-ball shot creation can be the focal point of their offense, while Bridges and Claxton can provide a defensive foundation on which to build. The team would not yet be a finished product, but the most important step would be complete.

To do so, the Nets do have to give up Cameron Johnson, but otherwise can move on from players who aren't in their long-term picture. The draft picks include the Nets' own 2030 pick and the Phoenix Suns' 2027 pick, which are both enticing but don't completely deplete Brooklyn's stash from which to build around Mitchell and Bridges.

This deal clearly works for the Nets; what about for the Cavaliers? Should they pull the trigger on this trade?