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Report: Lakers, Knicks, Jazz Talk Trade Featuring Donovan Mitchell, Russell Westbrook

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 5, 2022

Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell (Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Utah Jazz reportedly discussed a blockbuster trade headlined by Donovan Mitchell and Russell Westbrook.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported Friday the conversations took place a "few weeks ago."

Here's a look at the proposed deal:

  • To New York: Donovan Mitchell
  • To Los Angeles: Patrick Beverley and one player from the group of Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic or Malik Beasley
  • To Utah: Russell Westbrook and "significant draft pick compensation"

Westbrook would get bought out by the Jazz following the trade, per Scotto.

The Lakers have spent much of the offseason trying to find a trade for Westbrook that wouldn't include more than a single first-round selection. It appears a solution still hasn't been found.

Scotto noted league sources believe any three-team agreement would still need to feature the "2027 and 2029 first-round picks from the Lakers with as few protections as possible."

Whether that's why the negotiations haven't advanced isn't clear, but there are other factors involved if something is going to get done.

The Knicks would have to offload a salary filler, such as point guard Derrick Rose, to make the financial side work, and the Lakers were interested in adding New York forward Cam Reddish to their incoming package, according to Scotto.

While L.A. would have to decide whether that type of deal is the best way to move on from Westbrook, it appears attractive on the surface for the Knicks and Jazz.

New York has been linked to Mitchell for a while, but the front office's biggest concern was the package would get so large there "wouldn't be enough left on the roster to field a contending team," per SNY's Ian Begley.

In this scenario, the inclusion of the Lakers to help split the costs allows the Knicks to land Mitchell without adding any crucial pieces from the current roster.

Utah moved toward a full-scale rebuild when it dealt defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package featuring four first-round picks and a pick swap. Dealing Mitchell in a similar manner would be another major step in that effort.

Getting more first-rounders would give the Jazz an impressive amount of draft capital in the coming years, and their own picks in the near future are likely to yield some high-lottery selections if both former cornerstones are gone from the roster.

The Lakers may spend a little more time trying to find a less costly way of moving Westbrook before next season, but it wouldn't be a surprise if they circle back to this three-team idea if that doesn't materialize.

Going into another season with the same core trio of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis after a playoff-less 33-49 campaign would be ripe for potential disaster.

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