Report: Donovan Mitchell would be No. 1 choice for Lakers if they were to add 3rd star

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Jovan Buha of The Athletic said that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell would be the Los Angeles Lakers’ top choice if they were to add another star in the offseason to complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“I’ve heard in recent weeks that Donovan has become, if the Lakers go down the three-star path, and it’s still unclear — I think they’re gonna kick the can down the road and see the possibility and see what the asking price is,” Buha said. “And there are teams that can outbid them if they get into a bidding war. But if they do go down that road and at least explore it, that Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy, whereas several months ago, Trae Young was a name you were hearing a lot. Dejounte Murray was a name they looked at leading into the deadline.”

Former Lakers guard Nick Young urged the team to trade for Mitchell earlier this month.

Mitchell’s Cavaliers were eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs not too long ago, as Cleveland’s season came to an end after the team lost Game 5 of its second-round series to the Boston Celtics by 15 points on May 15. Mitchell played in only the first three games of the series before a calf injury sidelined him.

Before the 27-year-old went on the shelf with his injury, the Cavaliers were down just 1-2 in their series with Game 4 set to take place in Cleveland. Boston’s defense seemingly had no answer for the guard, who averaged 31.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game on 51.5 percent shooting from the floor and 53.3 percent shooting from 3-point range during the series.

He finished with exactly 33 points in two of the opening three games of the second-round series. Interestingly, his lowest point total of the series came during the Cavaliers’ sole win against Boston (he dropped 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field in Cleveland’s Game 2 win at TD Garden).

But the Celtics were in control for the remainder of the series when Mitchell was sidelined, as Boston picked up wins in Games 4 and 5 to complete a gentleman’s sweep of the Cavaliers.

Despite the fact that Cleveland’s playoff run ended in somewhat disappointing fashion, an encouraging takeaway from the Cavaliers’ stint in the 2024 NBA Playoffs and one that fans of the Lakers should take into account is that Mitchell has proven that he can score at an incredibly high level when there’s a lot on the line.

For his career, Mitchell has averaged a whopping 28.1 points per outing in 54 total playoff games.

Perhaps Mitchell’s elite scoring chops are exactly what the Lakers need to make another deep playoff run with Davis and James like they did in 2023.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.