Proposed Blockbuster NBA Trade Has Lakers Land $163 Million Star for Reaves

Austin Reaves LeBron James

Getty The Los Angeles Lakers could look to trade Austin Reaves for another star this offseason.

The Los Angeles Lakers have some work to do if the team hopes to land a third star to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Los Angeles continues to be mentioned as a potential landing spot for Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell.

It remains to be seen if the Cavs are willing to move Mitchell in the coming months with all eyes on a potential extension for the five-time All-Star. Bleacher Report put together a trade idea for every team who did not make the NBA finals. The Lakers pitch is being termed as a “modest offer” for Mitchell with Austin Reaves as one of the key players in the deal.

Los Angeles sends Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Jalen Hood-Schifino, two first-round picks (2029, 2031) and a 2026 first-round pick swap to Cleveland. In return, Mitchell heads to the Lakers to potentially star alongside James and Davis. Los Angeles has been reluctant to move Reaves, but it is hard to argue with landing a star like Mitchell.

Let’s dive into whether this trade idea works for either the Cavaliers or Lakers.

Lakers Rumors: LA Trading for Donovan Mitchell Could Hinge on Star Pushing His Way From Cavaliers to Hollywood

Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes makes the argument that Mitchell has some control over his trade destination. Few teams are going to want to give up a lot of assets for Mitchell without assurance that the guard will sign a contract extension.

Mitchell technically still has two seasons remaining on a five-year, $163 million contract. The star has a player option in 2025 that would allow Mitchell to hit free agency after the 2024-25 season.

“If this seems like too modest of a trade package to land Donovan Mitchell, considering the five-time All-Star’s leverage,” Hughes detailed in a June 6 story titled, “1 Trade Idea for Every Team Not in the 2024 NBA Finals.” “With the ability to become a free agent in 2025, he can steer his way to a preferred destination by declining an extension and threatening to leave Cleveland for nothing next summer.

“… Obviously, the Lakers aren’t in this for a rental, either. The deal hinges on L.A. having a very strong belief in Mitchell re-signing for the long haul,” Hughes added.

“With LeBron James entering his age-40 season next year, it wouldn’t be hard to sell Mitchell on a very near future in which he and Anthony Davis lead the celebrated franchise to glory after James retires. Top billing on a marquee franchise with an ideal running mate in Davis? That’s a sales pitch few of Mitchell’s suitors can top.”

Lakers News: Los Angeles Is Targeting UConn’s Dan Hurley as the Team’s Next Coach

Ideally for the Cavaliers, Mitchell will sign a contract extension this offseason and put to rest the trade rumors. Yet, it would make sense for the Lakers to explore a potential trade if Mitchell becomes available.

Los Angeles has their own offseason work to do with the potential free agency of James. The superstar can opt out of his deal to become a free agent this summer.

The Lakers are also in the midst of a coaching search and have now been linked to star UConn’s Dan Hurley. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Los Angeles is “preparing a massive, long-term contract offer” for Hurley after leading the Huskies to back-to-back NCAA titles.

“The Lakers have had preliminary contact with Hurley and the sides are planning to escalate discussions in the coming days, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski detailed in a June 6 article titled, “Sources: Lakers preparing massive offer to UConn’s Dan Hurley.” “Hurley has been at the forefront of the Lakers’ search from the beginning of the process, even while the organization has done its due diligence interviewing several other candidates, sources said.”