While most of the action from this NBA offseason has come and passed, there are still trade rumors out there that have fans on the edge of their seats.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving continue to be two of the most heavily discussed names mentioned with many speculating what the future holds for them, but Donovan Mitchell and Russell Westbrook are also two All-Star talents whose futures are clouded at this moment as the league inches closer to the start of training camps at the end of September.
Drafted 13th overall by the Denver Nuggets in 2017 and immediately dealt to the Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell has been the face of the Jazz franchise all five seasons he has spent in the NBA. Now a three-time All-Star and one of the better scoring guards in the league, Mitchell has quickly cemented himself as one of the best young stars of this league.
However, his future in Utah is a major question mark right now given the status of the franchise. The Jazz recently traded All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves and now, with the organization on the brink of a rebuild, Donovan Mitchell could be the next player the team looks to move for a ton of future assets.
Over in Los Angeles, the Lakers continue to try and formulate a plan heading into the 2022-23 season to make sure they can once again be title contenders. Bringing in Russell Westbrook last season did not work whatsoever and while he still remains a part of their roster, the Lakers do seem to have a level of interest in moving the nine-time All-Star if they can get “win-now” talent in return.
No deal involving Donovan Mitchell and/or Russell Westbrook appears to be imminent, but HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported recently that a three-team trade involving the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks has been discussed.
“The Lakers had conversations about joining the Jazz and Knicks a few weeks ago in a potential three-team trade,” Scotto wrote. “The proposed three-team trade scenario included Westbrook going to Utah and getting bought out. Utah would send Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks, a combination of two players, including Patrick Beverley and Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic or Malik Beasley to the Lakers, and the Jazz would receive significant draft pick compensation from the Knicks and Lakers.”
Scotto also mentions that the Lakers have had interest in trading for Knicks forward Cam Reddish, who the team recently acquired during the 2021-22 season.
Just breaking down this deal from a bird's eye view and trying to simplify it, Donovan Mitchell would be going to the Knicks, Russell Westbrook would be going to the Jazz with several first-round draft picks and the Lakers would be getting two key secondary talents from the Jazz to help them be real playoff threats right now.
As of right now, trade talks surrounding Mitchell have seemed to slow down league-wide, but interest in him still remains high from the New York Knicks standpoint. The All-Star shooting guard has been on New York’s radar for quite some time now and there is definitely mutual interest that exists here given Mitchell’s upbringing in New York and his connection to the city.
From a Knicks-Jazz trade perspective, a deal involving Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier OR Derrick Rose and various first-round picks seems to be the likely package on the table from New York for Donovan Mitchell.
If you were to add the Los Angeles Lakers as a third team in this deal with Russell Westbrook’s massive contract involved, things can get a little bit more complicated.
Both Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson could be moved from Utah to Los Angeles and both Derrick Rose and Cam Reddish could be moved from New York to Los Angeles. Then, the Lakers could move Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker to Utah along with their 2025 first-round pick and possibly another future first-round pick or first-round swap.
From New York, the Jazz would receive Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin and at least four first-round picks spanning anywhere from 2023-2029.
Financially, this trade would work for all sides and while they are adding four players for the price of two, the Lakers can make this trade work from a roster perspective if they were to waive either Wenyen Gabriel or Austin Reaves, both of which are on non-guaranteed deals right now.
What this potential three-team deal comes down to is whether or not the Utah Jazz are actually in fact willing to move Donovan Mitchell and if they feel that they are getting fair value here.
The Knicks seem very willing to get a deal done for Mitchell and if they can acquire key secondary talents to help them win right now for Russell Westbrook, the Lakers should be very willing to negotiate a deal like this.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin could all be key young talents for the Jazz to add back in this trade, but it is still very likely that Utah would want at least six first-round picks if they were to give up Donovan Mitchell, something the Knicks and Lakers combined may not be willing to surrender given the assets they are already giving up.
Again, nothing is agreed upon here, this is all strictly hypothetical speaking in regards to the communication these three teams had a few weeks back.
Heading towards training camp, both the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers have some key questions to answer in regards to their All-Star guards and their futures.