Grade the Trade: Grizzlies pair Ja Morant with Donovan Mitchell in wild mock deal

Apr 10, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after
Apr 10, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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Would the Grizzlies make this trade?

When fully healthy, this Grizzlies team led by the likes of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane is viewed as a legitimate threat to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Even coming into this year's campaign, with Morant slated to miss the first 25 games of the regular season, they were still tabbed as a top-10 title contender.

Though 2023-24 wound up seeing one of Memphis' worst finishes in recent memory, the franchise cannot lose sight of the fact that this trio is, indeed, believed to be good enough to guide a team to the promised land should they be accompanied by the right pieces around them.

With this in mind, this summer GM Zach Kleiman's main priority should be to add players that complement their Big-3 rather than look to split them up.

This proposed deal for Mitchell may be an entertaining idea and, admittedly, a win-now transaction, but it's a move that would accomplish the latter all while shortening their window of contention when considering the guard's advanced age compared to Bane (Mitchell is two years his elder) and the very real possibility that he still could have his sights set on heading home to his native New York once he enters free agency come 2025 (he holds a player option for his final year under contract).

Still only 24 years old, Bane finds himself entering just his first year under a new five-year, $197 million pact after having just put forth strong averages of 23.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, and half a block on 46.4 percent shooting from the floor and 38.1 percent shooting from deep in 2023-24.

If the Grizzlies were to be all in on adding Mitchell's services and forming a new star guard duo with Morant, then, from an objective standpoint, this proposed trade makes some serious sense, although the three or four first-rounders going outbound seems to be a bit extreme.

From a subjective and, admittedly, rather sound standpoint, however, it would likely be in Memphis' best interest to keep its current core intact and, instead, try to address some of its weak spots within the rotation around them.

Grizzlies Grade: C+

Cavaliers Grade: A