The 2023-24 NBA season has been a weird one for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They've shown promise here and there and even had a four-game winning streak at one point, but inconsistent play has resulted in a 9-8 record through 17 games, leaving fans to wonder which version of the Cavs is the real one.
On top of frustrating play, Cavaliers fans have also had to deal with Donovon Mitchell trade rumors. Even though the franchise hasn't brought up moving the superstar sharpshooter, that hasn't stopped Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley from proposing a deal between Cleveland and the New York Knicks.
Cavaliers Trade Rumors: Donovon Mitchell to the Knicks?
Buckley's proposed trade involves a plethora of pieces — seven, to be exact. The deal sends Mitchell to New York for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Miles McBride, as well as a top-12 2024 first-round pick (via Wizards), first-rounders in 2027 and 2019, and a 2028 first-round pick swap.
So, why would the Cavaliers trade Mitchell? It's common knowledge that the 27-year-old isn't ready to commit to a long-term stay in Cleveland just yet. While things could change before his 2025-26 player option comes up, the last thing Cavs fans want to deal with is 19 more months of trade speculation.
Considering how the Knicks have been interested in Mitchell dating back to his days in Utah, it wouldn't be a surprise if they took another swing. After all, New York has been desperate for a true superstar for a long time and he certainly fits the bill, averaging 28.1 PPG on .479/.384/.870 splits with 5.3 assists and 1.8 steals since joining the Cavs before the 2022-23 campaign.
And while it would hurt to lose Mitchell, Buckley's proposed return would help Cleveland remain competitive. Barrett is someone who has averaged at least 19.5 PPG in each of the last three seasons while Quickley is tallying a career-high 15.9 PPG this season. Furthermore, both men are former first-round picks who are under the age of 25, keeping the Cavaliers' core young.
Adding McBride won't move the needle too much, but the 23-year-old is still a decent bench player with experience after playing 115 games (four starts) since 2021-22. He's also a point guard, which helps given that Ricky Rubio is out taking care of his mental health while Ty Jerome is dealing with an ankle injury.
The Cavaliers would else get a protected 2024 first-rounder (via Washington), which will likely be moved to 2025 with how the Wizards are playing. On top of that, Cleveland would see first-rounders in 2027 and 2029, as well as a 2028 pick swap — all useful tools to help replenish the cupboards in a few years or, perhaps, to be used in a trade for a bigger fish this season.
If Buckley's trade materializes, time will tell if it improves the Cavaliers' 2023-24 NBA Finals odds. As it stands, Cleveland has the 10th-best betting odds to go on a Larry O'Brien Trophy run next spring.
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