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Windhorst: Lakers Were Never Part of Knicks and Jazz's Donovan Mitchell Trade Talks

Adam WellsSeptember 8, 2022

Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers may have been used to help facilitate a potential deal between the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks for Donovan Mitchell, that apparently wasn't ever the case.

On the latest episode of The Hoop Collective Podcast (starts at 59:45 mark), ESPN's Brian Windhorst said the Lakers were "never" part of any talks with the Jazz and Knicks involving Mitchell.

"...there were three-team constructions between the Jazz and Knicks for Donovan Mitchell," Windhorst said, "where players would go to a third team, but obviously they didn't do a deal, but the Lakers were never directly involved with that."

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported last month that the Lakers, Jazz and Knicks at one point discussed a huge deal centered around Mitchell and Russell Westbrook.

In the proposed deal, according to Scotto, the Knicks would have received Mitchell, the Lakers would have received Patrick Beverley and one player between Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic or Malik Beasley, and Utah would take Westbrook and "significant draft pick compensation."

The Lakers wound up acquiring Beverley from the Jazz on Aug. 25 for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson.

After months of speculation that Mitchell would end up in New York, the Knicks seemingly took themselves out of the running by agreeing to a four-year contract extension with RJ Barrett on Aug. 29.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Knicks president Leon Rose set an Aug. 29 deadline with the Jazz to get a Mitchell trade done. When it passed with no deal, Rose pivoted to give Barrett an extension that made him ineligible to be traded for six months.

The Cleveland Cavaliers swooped in and sent the Jazz a package of Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three future first-round draft picks and two pick swaps for Mitchell.

Meanwhile, the Lakers continue to move closer to starting training camp with Westbrook on their roster. Head coach Darvin Ham has spoken highly of the former NBA MVP this offseason, telling Andscape's Marc J. Spears in July he's been "counted out prematurely."

Westbrook and the Lakers are looking to make significant improvements this season after a disappointing 2021-22 campaign. He averaged 18.5 points per game in 78 starts, but had his lowest usage rate (27.3) since 2009-10 and assist percentage (31.6) since 2011-12.

The Lakers finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record. It was the second time in the four years of the LeBron James era that the Lakers have missed the playoffs.

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