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Reports: Cavaliers have tested waters of Donovan Mitchell trade

Jazz star Donovan Mitchell

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 16: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena on February 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have one of the more promising young cores in the NBA with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen along the front line and the just-resigned Darius Garland at the point. They also have Lauri Markkanen, who is just 25, plus other interesting young players on the roster, such as Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro. The Cavaliers have a promising future.

Is it time to speed up that timeline? Is it time for the Cavs to swing for the fences, maybe trade for Donovan Mitchell?

They have at least tested the waters, something first reported by John Gambadaro of 98.7 FM in Phoenix (he is well connected) and confirmed by Ian Begley of SNY.TV.

With the Kevin Durant trade drama out of the picture (for now), there will be more eyes on the Mitchell situation. Some teams that couldn’t land Durant may want to see if their offer carries any weight in Salt Lake City. The Knicks remain the frontrunners in this race, but other teams will kick the tires.

Cleveland has young players it could trade, plus all its picks after 2025 that it can send out. The Cavaliers could put together a trade offer that would interest the Jazz and, at the very least, push the Knicks to put more into their offer.

But should the Cavaliers go after Mitchell?

The Cavaliers re-signed Garland to a $193 million max contract to be their lead guard of the future. Adding Mitchell means a backcourt of two 6'1" guards who are undersized and not great defenders. It would make the Cavaliers the Trail Blazers’ East — as dynamic as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were together on offense, their size and defensive limitations put a cap on how good Portland could be. Garland and Mitchell would present the same problem. (One could argue Jalen Brunson and Mitchell in New York would be the same thing, but the Knicks are in on Mitchell, they need a star.)

At some point in the coming years, Cleveland likely will have to make a move and bring in a key player — maybe a superstar — via trade. As the Cavaliers try to move toward contender status, there will be gaps to fill. But that day doesn’t need to be today, and that player doesn’t need to be Donovan Mitchell.

Makes a good rumor, though.