Grade the Trade: wild 3-team proposal gives Cavaliers perfect second star

NBA trade rumor season is in full swing, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have topped the trending charts with rumors surrounding their core four.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets
Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets / Al Bello/GettyImages
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Phones will ring endlessly in the Cleveland Cavaliers front office this summer, calling to strike a deal for any of Cleveland's starring core four.

With the team's drama aired out in an end-of-season tell-all article from The Athletic, the Cavaliers enter the offseason in a position to retool around Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley in their ever-going quest for the NBA Finals. While the article detailed optimism around Mitchell's contract extension with the Cavs this summer, it also mentioned that Garland's representation at Klutch Sports will find a new home for the All-Star guard if Mitchell stays in Cleveland long-term.

As much as it hurts to see a homegrown All-Star leave a small market like the Cavs, it might be the best path for Garland to resume his dynamic impact on the court. With Mitchell in the backcourt, Garland's usage and role have diminished, and it appears he is ready to reclaim his All-Star potential. If Cleveland waves goodbye to Garland, they cannot afford to get scraps in return or accept a trade built on draft compensation. The Cavs are looking to win next season and fight for a championship, making a Garland trade less draft-centric than many star trades can become.

Alongside Garland, long-time Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen could find himself on the trade block as a premier big man trade target. The Oklahoma City Thunder have recently been linked to Allen, but numerous other teams will be ready to offer the Cavs a high price for the veteran big. The Cavaliers can capitalize on both players' values this summer. In that case, they can swiftly maneuver from the middle of the Eastern Conference pack to the upper echelon of competitors.

What can the Cavaliers expect in return this summer?

Constructing a trade for Darius Garland or Jarrett Allen gets complicated when Cleveland is not interested in picks. Most franchises stockpile draft capital with the expectation of spending it on a disgruntled star in the future. The Cavs are looking to buy this summer instead, but rival teams may have little interest in losing their star players to replace them with Garland or Allen.

Instead, the Cavaliers can orchestrate a multi-team trade, combining both Garland and Allen into one transaction that nets all teams a worthy exchange. If Cleveland sends one star to a team offering young players and draft capital and reroutes it to another team for their star, they may sidestep the difficulties of star-for-star swaps.

Garland and Allen are both talented players who have yet to enter their respective primes. Both hopeful contenders and rebuilding organizations would be thrilled to employ either of them, but the difficulty will be finding the right return for the Cavaliers to take the next step forward and complement Mitchell and Mobley.