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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Pro: Donovan Mitchell is a proven postseason player

If there’s one quality that all players who aspire to be great Los Angeles Lakers must possess, it’s the ability to step up in the postseason. Winning a championship is all but a necessity for Lakers fans to view a player as one of the greatest in franchise history.

Donovan Mitchell has yet to win a championship, but you would be hard-pressed to find a player who has more explosive postseason performances than Spida.

Mitchell has appeared in 54 playoff games up to this point in his career. He’s scored at least 20 points in 44 of those appearances, eclipsing 30 on 20 different occasions. Even more impressively, Mitchell has scored more than 40 points five times.

That includes three 50-point games, which ranks third in NBA history behind just Michael Jordan with eight and Wilt Chamberlain with four.

If that isn’t enough for you, Mitchell’s 57-point game against the Denver Nuggets in 2020 was the third-highest scoring game in NBA Playoffs history. Only Jordan’s 63 and former Lakers great Elgin Baylor’s 61 sit ahead of what Mitchell was able to accomplish.

If you think that was a bubble fluke, look no further than the fact that Mitchell scored 50 points in Game 6 of the first-round series against the Orlando Magic in 2024.

There’s obviously more to basketball than scoring, but Mitchell is the epitome of a player who ups their game in the postseason. In fact, his career postseason average of 28.1 points per game ranks eighth in NBA history—and 3.3 points higher than his regular season average of 24.8.

If the Lakers are going to cash in on this opportunity to try to win one more championship with Davis and James, adding an elite scorer who steps up in the postseason is about as intriguing an option as one can find.