Former Lakers guard urges franchise to trade for Donovan Mitchell without giving up LeBron James or Anthony Davis

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers may be looking for a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis next season, and Nick Young seems to think that player should be Donovan Mitchell.

The former Lakers player surely is aware that the All-Star guard’s future with the Cleveland Cavaliers has long been a topic of discussion. If Mitchell does indeed become available this coming offseason, he certainly would have to be attractive to the Lakers, whose 2023-24 campaign ended in disappointing fashion with a first-round playoff loss to the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers have already made one gigantic move since their season ended by firing head coach Darvin Ham. An NBA executive indicated that James would prefer to have Tyronn Lue as his head coach if it were up to him.

Despite the best efforts of James and Davis, the Lakers were eliminated by the Nuggets for a second straight year. The five-game series loss comes after Los Angeles reached the 2023 Western Conference Finals, where it was swept by the eventual NBA champions.

Mitchell and the Cavaliers could be on the verge of another playoff disappointment of their own, with Cleveland facing a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday in its first-round series against the Orlando Magic. Last season, the Cavs were knocked out in the first round by the New York Knicks and have not advanced to the second round since 2018, when they made the NBA Finals.

The 27-year-old Mitchell scored 50 points in the Cavs’ Game 6 loss to the Magic that set up Sunday’s showdown. Now in his second season with Cleveland after starting his NBA career with the Utah Jazz, he has won just two of the prior eight playoff series he has played in and has never gotten as far as the conference finals.

For his part, James also has to decide if he will return to the Lakers or not. The 39-year-old superstar holds a player option for the 2024-25 NBA season, but reportedly “all the signals suggest” he will return to the team to play what would be his 22nd NBA season.

Acquiring Mitchell could go a long way toward convincing James to return if he is harboring any doubts about doing so.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.