Donovan Mitchell is still a member of the Jazz as NBA trade talks cooled in August after a flurry of activity at the start of the offseason. While fans are likely disappointed with the lack of blockbuster offerings lately, a big one has apparently been discussed.
The Lakers, Knicks and Jazz have been in talks of a three-team trade that would have featured a homecoming party for Mitchell and an unceremonious departure from Los Angeles for Russell Westbrook, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto.
In the proposed trade, the Lakers would have sent Westbrook to Utah, where he would be bought out of his contract. The Jazz then reportedly sent Mitchell to the Knicks, along with a trade package that included two of the following players in 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 the other two 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 previously expressed an interest in forward Cam Reddish, whom they attempted to acquire last year in another three-way trade with the Knicks and Raptors, though that never materialized. New York would also likely have sought to offload one of its veterans to make salary room for Mitchell, with Derrick Rose topping the list of possible departures.
The most glaring question surrounding the trade, however, is how many draft picks Utah was in line to receive. The report claims the Jazz were looking to acquire more picks in exchange for Mitchell than they received in their previous offseason contract, which sent All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The lookback on that deal included four stunning future first-round picks, as well as 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler.
It’s unclear if the Knicks would have had to shell out more than four or five of their own first-round picks for Mitchell, or if the Lakers would have had to contribute as well in order for the Jazz to agree to take Westbrook’s massive contract. .
Although we may never know, a deal between the three has apparently been discussed and perhaps talks could resume as training camp nears.