Lakers exploring trades for Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young
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According to Dave McMenamin, the Lakers are internally discussing a trade for Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell or Atlanta Hawks star guard Trae Young.
The Lakers are 22-23 and 9th in the Western Conference and have been very inconsistent since the In-Season Tournament.
LA has been linked to many players ahead of the deadline. Mitchell and Young would be the route where the Lakers pursue a “bonafide star” rather than a smaller rotational upgrade.
The Lakers have discussed internally the idea of trading for a 3rd star, such as Donovan Mitchell or Trae Young, per @espn— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 23, 2024
They would package three picks along with players they already have on their books. pic.twitter.com/vMoALLZsw5
The report claimed the Purple and Gold would part with three draft picks and multiple players to acquire one of the All-Stars.
Mitchell is under contract for this season and next season with a player option for the 2025-26 season. The 27-year-old guard is averaging 28/5/6 with two steals per game. Mitchell is shooting 46.2% from the field and 34.9% from three.
He would be a good fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Mitchell would also be a long-term fit next to Davis once James retires or leaves the Lakers.
However, Cleveland has expressed no desire to trade Mitchell at the deadline amidst their eight-game winning streak.
Young was the other star the Lakers have internally discussed pursuing. The 25-year-old is under contract for at least the next three seasons, with an early-termination option for the fourth year. Young is averaging 27/3/11 on 42/36/86 shooting splits.
Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are the only two untouchable players on the Hawks, per @JakeLFischer— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) January 5, 2024
“Of late, Atlanta has informed numerous teams the only untouchable players on the Hawks’ roster are Young and rising third-year forward Jalen Johnson, sources said.”
The Hawks have Young as one of their untouchable players, making a deal highly unlikely. LA is much more likely to acquire his teammate, Dejounte Murray, at the deadline.
If the Lakers want to make a run at acquiring Mitchell or Young, it will likely happen in the offseason. LA will be able to send three first-round picks in the offseason, which would be a more competitive offer than they can make now.
Rob Pelinka and the front office will be active at the trade deadline, but a deal for Mitchell or Young is doubtful.