Lakers Pitch Would Add $163 Million Star for Austin Reaves & 3 1st-Round Picks

Los Angeles Lakers, Austin Reaves, Donovan Mitchell

Getty Austin Reaves drives to the hoop against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Los Angeles Lakers might not have the most assets around the NBA, but three first-round picks, Austin Reaves, and others could get a deal done. The Lakers would send all of their top assets to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Donovan Mitchell in a proposed trade from Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, a move to go all in around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Lakers would get: Mitchell

Cavaliers would get: Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, 2024 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick, 2031 first-round pick

“The outgoing players here, led by Reaves, won’t bowl the Cavs over. With that said, three first-rounders is nothing to sneeze at, and both Reaves and Hachimura could start alongside Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen—assuming Cleveland doesn’t also move on from Allen in a separate deal,” Hughes wrote in his June 11 column exploring blockbuster NBA trades. “The Lakers can also include two first-round swaps and up to five future second-rounders.

“Mitchell has leverage to use against the Cavs, as he can decline his extension and threaten to walk for nothing as a free agent in 2025. Cleveland could still trade him anywhere it wanted to, but offers would be few and far between if those suitors knew Mitchell wouldn’t re-sign with them either. That’s the simplest way for Mitchell to get Cleveland to send him where he wants to go, which is Los Angeles in this case.”

‘Donovan Mitchell Would Be the Preferred Guy’

With the Los Angeles Lakers having limited assets, they don’t have room for a trade similar to the Russell Westbrook one in 2021. If they don’t get this trade right, there’s a chance that they’ll continue to fall short of their goal of winning a championship.

It’s uncertain which players are going to be dealt, but the Lakers have been rumored with names like Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and others outside of Mitchell.

However, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, “Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy” for the Lakers.

“So there’s been some Donovan Mitchell buzz over the last few days. Cleveland ends up losing in five games to Boston,” Buha said in May. “There’s reporting about Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, almost framing it as sort of an either or situation.

“I’ve heard in recent weeks that Donovan has become, if the Lakers go down the three-star path, and it’s still unclear. I think they’re going to kick the can down the road and see the possibility and see what the asking price is. There are teams that can outbid them if they get into a bidding war. But if they do go down that road, and at least explore it, that Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy.”

How Mitchell Would Fit With the Lakers

The fit of Mitchell on the Los Angeles Lakers would be all about the potential scoring threats on the court. Mitchell can score the basketball at an elite level and be a high-end playmaker who can create for Davis and James.

In the 2023-24 season, the 27-year-old averaged 26.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.8 steals. He shot 36.8% from three-point range on nine attempts per game, marking the third straight year with at least nine attempts per game.

He has a player option in the 2025-26 season, the final year of his five-year, $163 million contract, so the Lakers would have to be ready to pay him in the near future.

If they could get a deal done with their limited assets, the five-time All-Star would be an exciting fit, creating one of the best trios in the NBA.

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