Lakers have sights set on 3rd star after playoff exit

According to an Insider, LA is ready to offer up a trade proposal for one highly-coveted guard.
Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers
Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers' early exit from the 2024 NBA Playoffs has plenty of questions being asked. No one is quite sure what this team will look like by the time next season tips off for multiple reasons. The biggest of which being LeBron James' future. If he opts to leave Los Angeles, the front office will have to make some tough decisions about which direction to head in.

But assuming James returns, the Lakers clearly still have work to do before they become a high-level Western Conference playoff contender once again. In each of the last two seasons, they struggled for large portions of the regular season and just barely slipped in to the playoffs. The year before that, they missed the postseason outright.

Clearly, some type of upgrade will have to be made to this roster for the Lakers to be anywhere close to their ultimate goal of winning a championship. They could opt to take the route of leveling up via adding more role players that fit their vision, or they can go all-in on adding a third star next to LeBron and Anthony Davis.

If they go the latter route, it seems that General Manager Rob Pelinka and the front office could already have their sights set on one big-name player. According to NBA Insider Brian Windhorst, the Lakers are already focusing on Donovan Mitchell with the Cleveland Cavaliers now eliminated from the playoffs as well.

The Lakers are prepared to make an offer for Donovan Mitchell

Appearing on ESPN's morning show on Wednesday, Windhorst revealed that several teams across the association have already prepared offers for Cleveland's premier player. When asked if the Lakers were one of those teams, Brian responded with a resounding "of course."

This should be of surprise to no one. LA has been in discussions around Mitchell for some time, and it makes sense that the details are beginning to leak out following the Cavaliers' exit from the playoffs. With LeBron still putting out solid production as a wing and AD dominating on the interior, adding a high-level perimeter player like Donovan would seem to be a logical move for a team trying to level up.

Mitchell was absolutely killing it in the playoffs leading up to his untimely injury that kept him off the floor for the final two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Between the end of the Magic series and the entirety of the Celtics series he was able to play, Donovan put up 36.8 points over the final five games of his season, including a 50-point performance on May 3rd against Orlando.

He certainly raised his trade value with his incredible play in the playoffs. If the Lakers are indeed prepared to make an offer for Mitchell, they will have to put together a strong package to outbid all the other teams eager to get him.