Grading blockbuster Donovan Mitchell trade to spark Cavaliers youth movement

New Orleans Pelicans v Cleveland Cavaliers
New Orleans Pelicans v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Do the Cavaliers say yes?

Regardless of the return, the Cavaliers will undoubtedly face public backlash for a "failed trade" by bringing in Mitchell in the first place. At times, public perception of blockbuster trades is immediately a championship or bust. While these comments would have merit, the Cavs should be ecstatic with this swap.

In their first season with Mitchell, the Cavaliers' lack of any big forwards decimated their playoff hopes. The Cavs added Max Strus to their ranks to add a layer of three-point shooting and a dependable wing defender. While Strus has been exceptional in his role, Cleveland's wing rotation is still relatively small.

This deal gives the Cavaliers two tremendous stretch forwards, especially with Murphy. In 14 games played, Murphy has shot 41.1 percent from deep on 6.4 attempts per game. While Murphy has typically come off the bench for the Pelicans this year, he could be an instant impact starter for the Cavs. Murphy has proven himself as a two-way player with endless upside as either a three or a four. He would make a seamless fit next to Mobley and Garland both in the present and the future timeline.

As for Jones, he is a strong option in their second unit and could serve as Isaac Okoro insurance. Okoro will enter restricted free agency this summer, and if the Cavs cannot find the right deal with the young wing, Jones would become Cleveland's go-to stopper on defense. Jones has shot an average 35.4 percent from beyond the arc, making the 6-foot 7-inch forward another valuable rotation piece.

Finally, not only does McCollum give the Cavaliers a homecoming story of another Ohio native joining the squad, but his veteran presence could give both Garland and Craig Porter, Jr. a new mentor after Ricky Rubio's retirement. Placing McCollum in the bench rotation with Max Strus starting at the shooting guard spot in front of him gives Cleveland immense backcourt depth, and the additional future first-round picks set the Cavs up for another major deal to finalize their championship contention.

Any blockbuster trade is bound to raise concerns and anxiety levels for both teams, as the risk of being viewed as the "loser" in the deal could drastically harm the franchise leaders' reputations for years to come. In this scenario, though, both teams could easily make the case that they won the deal, as the Pelicans became title favorites and the Cavs instantly have one of the best young cores in the NBA if not the undisputed best.

. . Final Trade Grade. Mitchell NOP trade grade. A-

The Cavaliers do not leave the deal without concerns over McCollum's health and his massive salary, but they would no doubt have the best young core in modern franchise history. Losing Mitchell two years after getting him is a tough blow, but the return gives the Cavaliers a limitless ceiling for their future.