Lakers think they could be in play for Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell over summer

The Los Angeles Lakers just never let up when it comes to trying to pry another team’s best player away. They are, without a doubt, the New York Yankees of the NBA.Donovan Mitchell drives by Austin Reaves

But hey, give the Lakers credit. Sometimes, it works. Just look at Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Anthony Davis as recent examples.

Now, per Bill Reiter of CBS Sports, the Lakers may have their sights set on Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.

In fact, the Lakers may not even want to try to make a splash before Thursday’s trade deadline, aiming to set themselves up for a run at Mitchell over the summer. Or so the theory goes.

Sources tell CBS Sports that a complicating factor on whether or not the Lakers acquire an impact player in the next 24 hours is the belief within the organization they could have a chance to acquire Donovan Mitchell this summer,” Reiter wrote. “Knicks also could be in play.”

This is the second such report linking the Lakers to Mitchell. Earlier this season, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported the Lakers may try to make a summer run at Mitchell or Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young.

“The Lakers currently have only one future first-round pick available to trade, but starting on the day of the NBA draft, they’ll have three: 2031, 2029 and either 2024 or 2025, depending on whether New Orleans chooses to use the 2024 pick it previously received from L.A. or defers it to the next draft,” McMenamin wrote. “The Lakers have discussed internally the possibility of packaging three picks, along with players they already have on their books, to pursue a bona fide star, such as Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, team sources told ESPN.”

That’s all well and good, but for starters, Mitchell is winning, and a lot, with the Cavaliers. Some around the league believe he will sign a contract extension with Cleveland after the season. If not, then yes, the Cavs will have some things to consider.

But word is, the only reason Mitchell wouldn’t sign an extension with the Cavs is because of a desire to go to New York. Sources have told Hoops Wire that playing third fiddle to James and Davis in LA is not real high on Mitchell’s to-do list. Quite the opposite.

For the record, the Knicks are not among those who have shown an interest in Mitchell. They’re thrilled with their own All-Star guard in Jalen Brunson and a team that had won nine straight before an injury to All-Star power forward Julius Randle.

So the Lakers can dare to dream, just as they always do, but lately, it’s only resulted in them fighting just to make the play-in tournament.

Still, they’re the Lakers and they have a way of staying relevant as they attempt to compete for nothing short of a championship. 

Mitchell is averaging 28.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists this season, shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent on 3-pointers. The Cavs (32-16) enter Wednesday night as one of the NBA’s two hottest teams, along with that team from Los Angeles. Yes, the Clippers.

The Lakers (27-25) have won three straight, but have been mostly uneven this season heading into the trade deadline (Thursday, 3 p.m. Eastern).

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