The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in an odd position, with their reported summer-long pursuit of Kyrie Irving now having fallen through. The star guard will stay with Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets, which means the Lakers have to find different ways to improve their roster. They have already acquired Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz in a trade, and now it seems they could be waiting to make further moves.
Donovan Mitchell is the biggest and most consequential name left in the offseason market following the Brooklyn Nets figuring their situation out and deciding to stay together. The asking price for the Jazz man has been reportedly incredibly high, and there must be some truth to it because no deal has been found yet. The latest report from NBA insider Marc Stein suggests that the Lakers could get involved in a deal, although they wouldn't necessarily be acquiring Mitchell.
"If the Knicks manage to win the trade race for Utah's Donovan Mitchell, or even if another team unexpectedly beats them to Mitchell, league sources say there's a decent chance that the Lakers will be involved in the deal. The two future first-round picks that the Lakers possess in 2027 and 2029 are the kind of top-shelf draft picks that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is believed to covet. Russell Westbrook's $47 million expiring contract and those picks could be the Lakers' entrée to a potential three-team swap... depending on the players that would land in Los Angeles."
Mitchell has long been linked with the Knicks, who seem like the favorites to land the star considering the draft capital at their disposal. And if the Lakers could leverage the deal into moving on from Russell Westbrook and acquiring some 3-and-D starters, it would be a huge win for them.
The Lakers were also credited with an interest in Mitchell earlier in the offseason, though, so maybe they could find a way to get him to them as well. Whatever deal is swung for the All-Star guard, it's going to be a complicated one and will likely take some time to put together. The Lakers have a penchant for pulling off trades that nobody expects them to, though, so maybe this could be another moment to make something like that happen.