As fans around the league wonder why the Lakers are likely to not make a move at the trade deadline, the reasoning behind this has been revealed with the exact veteran that the franchise is targeting. According to Bill Reiter of CBS Sports, L.A. is holding out for the chance to acquire Donovan Mitchell this offseason.
The Lakers are only able to send out one first-round pick this season with the franchise already trading away most of their picks in other deals. If LA chooses to wait until this summer, the front office would be able to give out three first-round picks in addition to whatever swaps they could offer.
Cleveland is currently in a weird spot with Mitchell. The star didn't really want to be traded to the Cavaliers two offseasons ago and was trying to force his way onto the New York Knicks. Cleveland was unable to advance to the second round of the playoffs last year and could possibly be facing a first-round exit again this year.
The Cavs are currently on a hot streak since the new year, but with Mitchell's free agency coming in a year and a half, the franchise is under pressure to make at least the second round of the playoffs this season. No matter what ends up happening this season, the All-NBA star will most likely be involved in trade rumors unless the Cavs can make the Eastern Conference finals in 2024.
NBA Rumors: Lakers could stand pat to target Donovan Mitchell
The big question, however, is if waiting is the right move for the Lakers. Should they still make a trade or trades at the deadline, just not a blockbuster?
Even if the Lakers are holding their assets, the franchise should at least look into a deal for Tyus Jones. The Wizards are lowering their price for the veteran guard and his basketball services could possibly be acquired for two second-round picks if LA added Jalen Hood-Schifino in the deal.
At the end of the day, the Lakers are unlikely to get Mitchell even if they hold their picks at this season's deadline.
Instead, the Lakers should look to compete for this season and not try to chase pipe dreams when it comes to low offers for an All-NBA star. With Anthony Davis hitting 30 and climbing fast, the franchise should look to make moves now, even if LeBron James doesn't return next season.