Grading 2 new blockbuster ESPN Cleveland Cavaliers mock trade proposals

Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers
Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Despite the front office's public inclination to keep their core four together, opposing franchises will still call all summer to try to steal one of the Cleveland Cavaliers' stars.

As expectations grow that Donovan Mitchell will sign a contract extension this summer with the Cavs, the futures of his teammates is in question. Cleveland will also reportedly offer Evan Mobley a max rookie-scale extension, meaning both Cavs stars will be ineligible for trade this offseason.

The other half of Cleveland's core, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, will be two of the premier trade targets across the NBA. Though Garland's injury-riddled season will dip his trade value, the All-Star point guard has drawn serious interest from numerous potential suitors. Following the best season of Jarrett Allen's career, the big man's value is seemingly at an all-time high. Should the Cavs sway on their intentions to keep the two former All-Stars, Cleveland could return a myriad of star and role player talent.

ESPN wants to see 2 major Cavaliers trades this summer

All eyes will be on the Cavaliers this summer. If Darius Garland's representation requests a trade, the Cavs may feel compelled to strike a deal before Garland's agents cause turmoil. If Garland does end up on the trade block and Allen follows suit, ESPN suggested two core-altering trades for the Cavs in a recent offseason article (subscription required).

ESPN's piece combined various rumors, finding realistic paths for both Garland and Allen to land on a team that has shown interest this summer. Beginning with Allen, ESPN theorized how Cleveland could swap Allen for a West All-Star forward.

Allen to Pels ESPN+

In this trade, the Cavaliers land Brandon Ingram to serve as Mitchell's co-star and move Evan Mobley to the full-time five. Cleveland also adds Dyson Daniels as a defensive-minded 6-foot-8 backup point guard. Though Daniels struggles to shoot with consistency from deep, his playmaking and defensive prowess are key elements in ESPN's mock trade.

As for what the Cavaliers lose, they exit this deal with more questions that need answered in the aftermath. Losing Allen undoubtedly weakens Cleveland's interior defense, and this trade does not give the Cavs a backup center or frontcourt partne for Mobley. Additionally, the Cavalies lose their lone volume wing shooter in Max Strus. Though they replace him with a better forward in Ingram, the former All-Star has never developed into a high-volume sharpshooter, typically executing in the paint or mid-range.

Despite concerns surrounding Ingram, ESPN points out that he is one one of 10 players to average at least 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the last three seasons consecutively. While the Cavaliers have reportedly little interest in acquiring Ingram, the potential output they could find in Ingram is undeniable. Unfortunately, Ingram is entering the last year of his contract, meaning the Cavs would have to be willing to offer a max extension in his first season with the team. The risks with Ingram do not necessarily dismiss him as a target, but this trade alone does not elevate the Cavaliers.

Losing Max Strus makes the Cavaliers the losers of the trade, regardless of Ingram's talent. The Cavs desperately needed more outside shooting last offseason, and this year it is no different. They return two low-volume shooters and add another guard in the bench unit alongside Caris LeVert and Craig Porter, Jr. With Isaac Okoro possibly returning next year, Cleveland's spacing and cohesion off the bench would be dramatically worse than before.

Since ESPN offered two consecutive trades, the final grade will be an accumulative of the entire return and total roster construction.