Grade the Trade: LeBron James heads home as Lakers land superstar in bold proposal

In a bold trade proposal, the Los Angeles Lakers land a new superstar by sending LeBron James home.
Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards
Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Grading the trade for the Cavaliers

When it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, this is where more of the selling has to happen. For one, the only way the Cavs would consider such a deal is if Donovan Mitchell informs the team that he doesn't plan on signing an extension with them. That's the only scenario in which they should be open to trading Mitchell. Even then, it's no guarantee that they would. For the sake of this proposed deal, let's say Mitchell refuses to sign a contract extension and that he would be open to playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

After that, the Cavs would then have to be sold on LeBron James being the best possible return in an open bidding war for Mitchell. That means more than the potential of 2-3 future first-round picks, if not more, and a blue-chip prospect. Would a LeBron reunion year or two be better than reloading their asset cabinet with multiple first-round picks and a young prospect? That's a tough question to answer.

Hammer home the argument for LeBron, a move for him does allow the Cavs to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference and perhaps even a contender if Evan Mobley and Darius Garland continue to make strides in their game. Trading Mitchell for draft capital and a young prospect probably knocks the Cavs down a few notches in the Eastern Conference hierarchy.

If this trade were to happen, it'd be far from an end-of-the-world scenario for the Cavs. And, in fact, it would bring more eyeballs their way.

Grade: B+

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