The Los Angeles Lakers recently traded for Patrick Beverley in order to boost their defense ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season. But the Western Conference is full of amazing teams, and the Lakers still need another major signing in order to compete with them.
On paper, the Lakers might have a Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, but that partnership isn't as good as it sounds in theory. The Lakers tried it out in the 2021-22 NBA season and ended up missing the postseason.
Obviously, Anthony Davis didn't play many games, but Russell Westbrook's performances wouldn't have been impacted that much had AD played. With that said, it is obvious that the Lakers want to trade Russ.
Unfortunately, due to Russ' abysmal last season, his trade value has tanked a lot. This has led to the Lakers being forced to start the 2022-23 NBA season with Westbrook on the roster, at least for now.
The best case scenario for the Lakers would be to get a star player in return for his hefty contract. NBA analyst Colin Cowherd believes Donovan Mitchell might be the perfect guy for the Lakers. He also believes that this hypothetical trade would make sense for both the Lakers and the Jazz.
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“Danny Ainge is a draft-pick guy. … Would he eat Westbrook for those two draft picks? Lakers get Donovan Mitchell, who I like. You get two draft picks and the Westbrook contract, which you can just write it off and let him go.”
While there is no confirmation whether the Lakers want to trade for Donovan Mitchell or not, the 17-time NBA champions still want to trade away Russell Westbrook.
As explained by Cowherd, Danny Ainge is currently running the Utah Jazz. He's someone who trusts the process. With the Jazz already trading away Rudy Gobert, it's obvious that the franchise also wants to trade Donovan Mitchell.
Trading Mitchell to the Lakers would help Ainge in getting some valuable draft picks in exchange for taking on the hefty contract of Westbrook. Ainge and the Jazz seem like the most appropriate options for the Lakers to get rid of Westbrook and his huge contract.