Grade the Trade: Warriors add defensive phenom in controversial challenge-trade pitch

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Laying out the trade

While the Golden State Warriors spent January riding an emotional roller coaster, the Cleveland Cavaliers spent it clobbering opponents. The Cavs have won 12 of their last 13 games, including an eight-game winning streak in the center of the month. They have risen from a shaky start to a Top-4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

What's all the more impressive about that run is that the Cavs have done all of that winning without two of their key players: Darius Garland, who missed six weeks with a fractured jaw, and Evan Mobley, who missed six weeks due to knee surgery. In particular, the offense took flight with a shooter at power forward instead of Mobley.

The Cavaliers may try to shoehorn Mobley back into the starting lineup and hope his greater talent carries them further than a superior fit would. It's also possible that they recognize playing two non-shooting bigs is untenable in the modern NBA and begin to canvas the league for trade partners in a potential Evan Mobley trade.

If the Cavaliers decide that they are open to moving Mobley, the Golden State Warriors should be a team that engages them in trade discussions. Here's what such an offer could look like:

Mobley - Kuminga/Looney trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers would land Jonathan Kuminga, an extremely gifted and athletic young forward who can give the Cavs more frontcourt scoring pop and a reasonable level of shooting. They also get Kevon Looney to serve as Jarrett Allen's primary backup, and the only pick in the deal heads their way in our trade construction.

The Cavaliers would have a more diverse lineup and more spacing around Jarrett Allen. What about the Warriors; would they make this deal?