Donovan Mitchell is a still a member of the Jazz, with NBA trade talks having cooled in August after a flurry of activity early in the offseason. Though fans are likely disappointed by a lack of blockbuster deals that have transpired of late, one big one was apparently discussed.
The Lakers, Knicks and Jazz had talks about a three-team trade that would’ve featured a coming home party for Mitchell and an unceremonious departure from Los Angeles for Russell Westbrook, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scott.
In the proposed trade, the Lakers would have sent Westbrook to Utah, where he would be bought out of his contract. The Jazz would’ve then sent Mitchell to the Knicks, as well as a trade package that included two of the following players to LA: Patrick Beverley, Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Malik Beasley. In return, the Jazz were in line to receive a plethora of draft picks from both of the other teams involved in the deal.
Questions arose as to who the Knicks were willing to send to the Lakers if the deal ever materialized. Los Angeles had already expressed interest in forward Cam Reddish, who they attempted to acquire last year in another three-team trade with the Knicks and Raptors, though it never came to fruition. New York would’ve also likely looked to offload one of its veterans to make salary space for Mitchell, with Derrick Rose headlining the list of possible departures.
The most glaring query surrounding the trade, however, is how many draft picks Utah was in line to receive. The report asserts that the Jazz were looking to acquire more picks in exchange for Mitchell than they had received in their prior offseason deal, which sent All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The return on that deal featured an astounding four future first-round picks, as well as 2022 first-round pickup Walker Kessler.
It’s unknown whether the Knicks would’ve been obligated to fork over four or five of their own first-round picks for Mitchell, or if the Lakers would’ve additionally had to chip in so that the Jazz would agree to take on Westbrook’s massive contract .
While we might never know, a deal between the three was apparently discussed and perhaps talks could heat up again as training camp gets closer.