Proposed Blockbuster Trade Has Lakers Land 5-Time All-Star for Reaves

Austin Reaves Gabe Vincent

Getty The Lakers could use Austin Reaves (right) as a potential trade chip to land a third star this offseason.

The Los Angeles Lakers have their head coach in JJ Redick and are now tasked with building a roster than can once again be an NBA contender. One path for the Lakers to take is attempting to land a third star to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

This is assuming James remains with Los Angeles instead of bolting in NBA free agency. One name that has been mentioned as a potential trade target for the Lakers is Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell. Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes put together a potential NBA draft day trade for every team and has a proposal for Los Angeles to land Mitchell.

The trade pitch has the Lakers sending Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, the No. 17 pick in the draft and a 2029 first rounder to the Cavs. Los Angeles secures their third star by acquiring Mitchell.

Let’s examine whether this potential deal makes sense for the Lakers and Cavaliers.

Could Cavaliers Star Donovan Mitchell Push for a Trade to the Lakers?

Mitchell possesses an impressive resume as a five-time All-Star and plenty of postseason experience with 54 playoff appearances. The guard has two seasons remaining on a five-year, $163 million contract.

Mitchell is slated to have a $35.4 million cap hit in 2024-25. The veteran has been mentioned as a potential trade chip as Mitchell has a player option that would allow him to hit free agency in 2025.

This would change if Mitchell and the Cavs agree to a longterm contract extension this offseason. Hughes makes the argument that Mitchell could push his way to Los Angeles which would help what the Lakers have to give up in a potential trade.

“While L.A. could choose any number of available big names to pursue, Mitchell is a better fit than the extremely ball-dominant and defense-averse Trae Young, and his future health prospects seem more hopeful than Zach LaVine’s,” Hughes wrote in a June 25, 2024 story titled, “2024 NBA Draft-Day Trades That Make Sense for Every Team.”

“Though he won’t technically be a free agent, Mitchell should have significant input on where he lands. He can telegraph reluctance to re-sign with any other potential trade suitor, which gives the Lakers a real shot to get him for what may seem like a bargain.”

The Cavs Are Confident That Donovan Mitchell Will Sign a Contract Extension: Insider

The idea of Mitchell as a potential trade target for the Lakers could become irrelevant if the star inks an extension in the coming months. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Cavs are optimistic that Mitchell will sign an extension this offseason.

“There is growing optimism and confidence within the Cavaliers that they will reach a new extension–worth up to $209 million–with [Donovan] Mitchell,” Charania told Stadium on June 24.

Charania, Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd also reported that Cleveland believes the hiring of Kenny Atkinson will help the team’s chances of securing a commitment from Mitchell.

“The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as their next coach and are working to secure a lucrative contract extension with All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell,” Charania, Vardon and Lloyd detailed in a June 24 article, “Cavaliers hiring Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as next coach: Sources.”

“… While working toward hiring Atkinson, the team’s executives are set to present a four-year, $209 million maximum contract to Mitchell, team and league sources said. Atkinson is an offensive-minded coach who values ball movement and diversity in his attack — things Mitchell craves. To be fair, Borrego values those same traits.”