Lakers Trade Proposal Swaps Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura for $197 Million Star

Lakers' Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura

Getty Rui Hachimura #28 and Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Los Angeles Lakers could capitalize on the major shakeup that is fast shaping up in Cleveland after J.B. Bickerstaff’s firing.

ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks wrote that the Cavaliers could trade backcourt star Darius Garland to the Lakers if five-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell chooses to remain in Cleveland.

“If the Cavaliers do make Garland available, one trade that could make sense would be a package centered around the Los Angeles Lakers’ Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura. Reaves’ shooting skills would complement Mitchell, and Hachimura gives the Cavaliers depth in the frontcourt if they look to trade Allen,” Marks wrote.

On May 15, The Athletic reported that Garland could request a trade should Mitchell sign a four-year, $208.5 million extension this July.

“Rival executives believe the Cavs will have to seriously evaluate the fit of Mitchell and Garland and ultimately may have to choose one or the other. Should Mitchell decide to stay long term, sources briefed on the matter say Garland’s representation, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, would have a conversation with Cavs officials on potentially finding a new home for the one-time All-Star,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd wrote.

Garland shares the same representation with Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Garland became a first-time All-Star in 2022 when he averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 8.6 assists. He was the face of the Cavaliers until Mitchell’s arrival. His role and his production dipped in the next two seasons sharing backcourt duties with Mitchell.

This season, Garland averaged 18.0 points, 6.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds. He has four years left on his $197 million rookie max extension.

Donovan Mitchell Is the Lakers’ Top Target

The Lakers’ top offseason target is Garland’s more illustrious backcourt mate Mitchell, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.

“So, I’ve heard in recent weeks that Donovan has become the Lakers [preferred target] should they go down the three-star path and it’s still unclear,” he said on “Buha’s Block” on May 17. “I think they’re gonna kick the can down the road and see the possibility and what the asking price is. And 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, Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy. Whereas several months ago, Trae Young was a name we’re hearing a lot and Dejounte Murray was the name they looked at leading up to the [trade] deadline.”

While Mitchell is not an All-Defensive Team-caliber player like Murray, the Cavaliers star is bigger than Young, who is a defensive liability.

Garland would also pose the same positional size problem as Young for the Lakers.

D’Angelo Russell Drawing Interest From Magic

Garland could potentially replace D’Angelo Russell, who is drawing interest from the Orlando Magic, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Russell, 28, has a player option worth $18.7 million for the 2024-25 season. His decision holds the key to the Lakers’ offseason plans. If he opts in, the Lakers could become a first-apron team and could not take back more money in a trade, according to Marks.

If he opts out, the Lakers could duck the apron, allowing them to aggregate contracts sent out in a potential star trade.