Grade the Trade: Mock deal has Lakers winning fierce Mitchell sweepstakes

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for star power on the trade market this summer. Could they go after a high-scoring guard from LeBron's old team?
Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Laying out a trade with the Cavaliers and Lakers

The first step to trading for Donovan Mitchell is for the Cleveland Cavaliers to come to the table. The Los Angeles Lakers aren't going to have any offer lucrative enough to convince the Cavs to trade their star on its own; either the Cavs need to see the writing on the wall and decide to move him, or Mitchell has to go to the Cleveland front office and request a trade.

Once that future is triggered, the Lakers can step in with a competitive offer and try to make something happen. The Lakers and Cavaliers have a history of making trades, including a 2018 deal involving Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. that paved the way for LeBron James to sign in Los Angeles in free agency the following summer.

The Lakers will not have cap space next season, so any trade for Mitchell will need to involve matching salary. With Mitchell one year away from free agency, it will also need to involve some amount of communication from Mitchell and his representation that he will sign long-term with the Lakers. Otherwise, the Lakers cannot afford to risk making a competitive offer and losing Mitchell after only one season.

The Cavaliers will not get back three first-round picks, two swaps, two proven veterans and a prospect like they did when they first traded for Mitchell...but they might get something close to that. There will be a real bidding war for Mitchell, especially after he put up some monster showings in the playoffs to propel the Cavaliers to their first series win without LeBron James in over 30 years.

With that context in mind, here is a robust offer from the Lakers:

Cavs Lakers Mitchell for Reaves, 3 1sts

The Cavaliers would get an offensive-minded replacement in Austin Reaves, someone who can serve as something of a Sixth Man and allow Max Strus and Isaac Okoro to start on the wing. Rui Hachimura is salary filler and around neutral value on his current contract after he came back to earth this past season. Jalen Hood-Schifino was something of a draft bust his first season but is a worthy buy-low bet for the Cavs to ask to be included. They will likely ask for Max Christie and Maxwell Lewis as well, but the Lakers should be able to hold them back.

The Cavaliers will also demand all three of the Lakers' available first-round picks. If there were limited suitors for Mitchell on the trade market the Lakers may be able to keep either Reaves or one of those picks out of the deal, but with the Brooklyn Nets likely to bid highly and the Miami Heat always lurking, the Lakers may need to give their best offer.

Is this too rich for the Lakers to offer? Should they walk away and call up another team instead? Let's evaluate the deal from the Lakers' perspective and "grade the trade" to see if they should pull the trigger.