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Los Angeles Lakers expected to be serious contenders for Donovan Mitchell trade this summer? How a deal might get done

los angeles lakers
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A new report suggests the Los Angeles Lakers would be “at the front of the line” in a potential Donovan Mitchell trade market this summer. But what would it take to get a deal done for the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar guard?

Heading into the NBA games today, the Cavaliers and Mitchell are on the brink of joining the Los Angeles Lakers on the sidelines and entering a win-or-go-home situation in Game 5 of their series against the Boston Celtics. And a defeat for Cleveland could have massive implications for their future.

  • Donovan Mitchell stats (2023-24): 26.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.8 SPG, 37% 3PT

There have been rumblings for months that top star Donovan Mitchell is not interested in signing an extension and the team could be compelled to trade him this summer with a full year left on his contract. While the Knicks have been linked to him for over a year, on Tuesday, The Athletic NBA columnist Jason Lloyd suggested the Los Angeles Lakers need to be taken seriously as a suitor for the five-time All-Star.

“If Mitchell doesn’t sign an extension with Cleveland this summer, the Cavs will have to explore trade options — and one of the teams standing at the front of the line will be the Lakers,” Floyd wrote. “It’s possible, given Mitchell’s current condition with his calf, that he has already played his final game in a Cavs jersey.”

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How can the Los Angeles Lakers beat out other teams in a Donovan Mitchell trade?

los angeles lakers
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The market for Donovan Mitchell if he hits the trade block in July will be stacked. The aforementioned Knicks could be a player — based on how they end their NBA Playoffs run. The Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs have the assets to appeal to Cleveland, and the Miami Heat may be a dark horse in a possible chase.

So how could the Lakers win such a competitive race for the uber-talented guard? Well, they would pretty much have to sell the entire house in a potential deal. While that would be a massive risk, it is worth it for LA because they must prepare for life after Lebron James, and having a duo of Anthony Davis and Donovan Mitchell will keep them in a strong position once James walks away from the game.

  • Donovan Mitchell contract: Five years, $163 million ($35 million in 2024-25, $37 million player option 2025-26)

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Unlike years passed, the Los Angeles Lakers actually have a decent haul of NBA Draft picks they could throw into a deal. LA has all of their first-round picks for the rest of the decade, however, eventually one of them — likely next year’s — will go to New Orleans as a final payment in the Anthony Davis trade.

The Lakers would have to hand over at least three of those picks. What helps LA is they could also offer some solid players in a package and this is where D’Angelo Russell comes in. If he is willing to be included as part of a sign-and-trade — if he does opt out as expected — he is a nice piece going back and helps Cleveland replace some of what they will lose in trading Mitchell. Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura would be other nice pieces going back in a deal.

Donovan Mitchel trade to the Lakers

  • Lakers get: Donovan Mitchell
  • Cavaliers get: 3 first-round NBA Draft picks, D’Angelo Russell (sign-and-trade), Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt

Jarred Vanderbilt should also be included and he is a good bench player with a defensive lean that fits the Cavaliers style. While the Lakers would not be favorites in the chase, if they could get a deal done it would likely look something like that.

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