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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Do the Cavaliers make this trade?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have one shot to maximize the return on a Donovan Mitchell trade.

In doing so, they have to thread the needle between refilling their depleted reserve of draft picks, adding young talent that can grow with Darius Garland and Evan Mobley and adding veteran talent that can allow them to stay competitive in an Eastern Conference that is only getting better.

This deal does a decent enough job of threading that needle. Dorian Finney-Smith is a proven two-way forward who can duplicate the impact that Dean Wade has and provide insurance for Wade getting injured. Cameron Johnson is a stretch-4 with better defensive chops than Georges Niang and together with "DFS" and Wade would give Cleveland a lethal forward rotation.

Cam Thomas, on the other hand, is a young scoring guard who projects as a long-term sixth man, a microwave scorer off the bench with room to develop. The draft picks are not guaranteed to be lucrative, but they offer real upside.

The issue with this deal is that it essentially replaces Mitchell with role players; the Cavaliers would be trading an All-NBA guard in his prime for a trio of players who aren't even a lock to start for the Cavs after the deal, none of whom offer All-Star upside.

If the Cavaliers expect to continue being a playoff team for the foreseeable future, and they probably do given the fact that the Utah Jazz control their draft for the next five seasons, they have precious few avenues to adding star talent. They have to get a real centerpiece player back in a Mitchell trade, whether that's an established player or a prospect with that level of upside.

Perhaps the Cavs can pivot and use these assets to add that player from another team, but that's no guarantee. Cleveland should try to shake a better offer out of the tree, whether that's from the Nets or another team. Mitchell is too good not to aim higher.

Grade: B