“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,” Dave 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.”
Young is in his sixth season as a member of the Hawks organization and is averaging 26.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 10.8 assists per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from deep. But the Hawks will be without him for at least a little while, as he was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol after sustaining an injury in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ game versus the Cavaliers on Jan. 20.
As for Mitchell, he is in his second season with the Cavaliers after spending the first five seasons of his NBA career with the Utah Jazz. Across 32 appearances so far during the 2023-24 regular season, he is averaging 27.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.
He is fresh off one of his better performances of the season from a playmaking standpoint. Mitchell dished out a whopping 13 assists in 30 minutes of playing time versus the Orlando Magic on Jan. 22 to go along with 25 points, three rebounds and four steals. The Cavaliers beat the Magic by 27 points to earn their eighth victory in a row.
Like the Cavaliers, the Lakers also picked up a win in their most recent game. They beat Malcolm Brogdon and the Portland Trail Blazers by 24 points thanks to a great game from guard D’Angelo Russell, who dropped 34 points and eight assists in 34 minutes of playing time. LeBron James ended up with the second-most points on the team with 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 from 3-point range.
Russell and the Lakers will try for their second win in a row when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers on the road on Tuesday. The Clippers have arguably been playing as well as any team in the Western Conference over the last few weeks, as evidenced by the team’s 8-2 record over its past 10 games.