The Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month.
In return for Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-rounders and two pick swaps, Cleveland got a three-time NBA All-Star who hasn’t even reached his prime yet.
While everyone knows about the New York Knicks’ failed role in acquiring Mitchell, fewer are aware of the Los Angeles Lakers’ inability to get something done.
This week it came out that L.A. did in fact have interest in adding Mitchell, but ultimately those plans got derailed.
“It was a little strange that the Lakers and Jazz did the Beverley deal when they did because you knew they’d have more to talk about down the line,” a source told NBA insider Sean Deveney.
“[LA] had interest in Mitchell and that was something Danny [Ainge] was keeping on the back burner, but there were other offers ahead of where the Lakers were.
“Danny always knew he could go back to them. There is no question that the Lakers would have made the move for Mitchell if they could and the Jazz wanted those two [first round] picks [in 2027 and 2029].”
The Lakers have now shifted their focus on other moves, but conversations with the Jazz remain open when it comes to their veterans.
In recent days, a dark horse suitor for Russell Westbrook has quietly emerged. If something could get done on that front, it would be addition by subtraction for Los Angeles.
Trey Lance has found a healthy way to deal with the 49ers losing. https://t.co/qmiyQxwvbQ
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 15, 2022
Should that Westbrook thing not happen, through – expect for talks between Utah and L.A. to intensify once more.
The Jazz are very interested in the Lakers’ picks, so they will always be there to listen to potential offers.
Will the two teams actually be able to get something done, though? Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.