3 pros, 2 cons to Lakers trading for Donovan Mitchell

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to pursue Donovan Mitchell this offseason. Is it worth the risk?
Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Con: Are Donovan Mitchell's injuries becoming a theme?

The Los Angeles Lakers have fallen victim to their fair share of injuries over the past few seasons. Anthony Davis missed 36 games in 2020-21, 42 in 2021-22, and 26 in 2022-23, while the previously invincible LeBron James has been absent for 27 in 2020-21, 26 in 2021-22, and 27 in 2022-23.

The Lakers finally seemed to get the injury bug under control in 2023-24, which leads to a crucial question: Are injuries too much of an issue with Donovan Mitchell to justify a trade?

This may sound like a prisoner of the moment concern, as Mitchell missed 27 regular season games and two playoff outings in 2023-24. The unfortunate reality, however, is that Mitchell has missed double-digit games in each of the past four seasons—with 2023-24 simply being the most grueling one yet.

Mitchell missed 14 games in 2022-23, 15 in 2021-22, and 19 in 2020-21—meaning he’s missed an average of 18.75 games per season since 2020.

It’s possible that Mitchell will be able to return to full strength and remain generally healthy for the rest of his prime. He’s still just 27 years of age, and the heavy offensive load that he’s shouldered in Utah and Cleveland would be considerably lighter playing with two superstars in Davis and James.

Based on how many opportunities the Lakers have lost because of injuries, however, it’s entirely fair to question whether or not trading for a player with four seasons of gradual injury issues would be the wisest choice.