Lakers Superstar Trade Target Not Expected to Be Dealt in Offseason

Los Angeles Lakers, Donovan Mitchell

Getty Donovan Mitchell with LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make a big splash at the trade deadline, a surprising decision at the time. However, it allowed the Lakers to have all of their assets in the summer and look for a star in the offseason. Superstars typically aren’t available at the deadline and that’s what the Lakers were looking for. Of the available names, Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell are two to watch out for.

However, Sam Amico of Hoops Wire believes the Cleveland Cavaliers will extend Mitchell. Amico writes that Mitchell is happy with the Cavaliers and he predicts that Mitchell will sign a max extension.

“I predict Mitchell signs max extension with Cavs. But how things play out from here could have something to do with that. I’ve been told repeatedly he’s happy in Cleveland.”

The Lakers would’ve already had a competition with the New York Knicks expected to show interest, but this would be the end of them landing Mitchell.

Lakers Offseason Moves Were Perfect to Land Mitchell

Bill Reiter of CBS Sports reported on February 7 that the Los Angeles Lakers had a tough decision to make during the deadline because there was belief they could land Mitchell.

“Sources tell @CBSsports that a complicating factor on whether or not the Lakers acquire an impact player in the next 24 hours is the belief within the organization they could have a chance to acquire Donovan Mitchell this summer. Knicks also could be in play.”

With the Lakers deciding to not make any moves during the deadline, the assumption was they’d be in the mix for someone in the offseason. It was a surprising move to see them not add a player in the back end of LeBron James‘ career, but the Lakers believed there was a better chance to land a star in the offseason.

That was confirmed by Sam Amick, Anthony Slater, and Jovan Buha of The Athletic on February 14.

“The Lakers plan to continue their quest for a third star this summer, armed with as many as three first-round picks, four pick swaps and multiple second-round picks to make a compelling offer for any available star. According to team sources, the organization has discussed three names internally: Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell and Irving.”

As a result of not making a move at the deadline, the Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games and in ninth place in the Western Conference.

Offseason Targets for Lakers

If Mitchell does sign an extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers will pivot to a different star.

It’s not the best free agency class with James Harden and DeMar DeRozan leading the way. DeRozan could be an option given he’s from California and is still playing well at 34 years old.

The Athletic’s report on the Lakers mentions the three first-round picks they have this offseason. If the Lakers are willing to move those picks, they should be in the mix for most players that will become available for trade.

Mitchell could be staying in Cleveland, but look for the Lakers to make a splash either way in the summer.

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