This needs to be emphasized up front: not only is this deal obviously not happening, but things remain incredibly calm on the trade front, and it looks like no deal like this one is going to happen anytime soon. Even if.
However, the Lakers, Knicks, and Jazz discussed a three-team trade that Donovan Mitchell to the nyx and Russell Westbrook to the Jazz to be redeemed, with more picks going to Utah and other players in the mix, reports Michael Skoto of Hoopshype.
The proposed three-team trade scenario included Westbrook going to Utah and being bought out. Utah to send Donovan Mitchell to Knicks with two players, including Patrick Beverly as well as Jordan ClarksonBoyan Bogdanovich or Malik Beasley The Lakers, and the Jazz will receive significant compensation for the draft picks from the Knicks and the Lakers. The Knicks would also have to part ways with salary-filling veterans like Derrick Rose to help make the paycheck work.
The Lakers are also interested in a trade for the Knicks forward. Cam reddish, which could also be part of the deal. The Lakers nearly acquired Reddish last season in blockbuster trade talks between the Lakers, Knicks and Raptors.
While this deal makes some sense at first glance, there are also many questions and details, and this is usually where the devil lies and gets everything bogged down.
Questions that begin with the words: How many spades goes to Jazz? Scotto notes in the same Hoopshype story Utah wants to return more picks in exchange for Mitchell than she received in Rudy Gobert a trade that essentially consisted of five first-round players (four future picks plus 2022 Walker Kessler). Based on their choices in other trade talks, the Lakers were likely only willing to add one of their two first round trade picks in this deal, so would the Knicks add four or five more first round players heading to Utah? Would the Jazz want at least five first rounds just for Mitchell, plus another one or two to beat Westbrook, for a total of six or seven?
Then there are other questions: what kind of players returned to the Lakers? Derrick Rose, Cam Reddish and maybe a Utah veteran? Will some jazz veterans move to New York because of this? There are many possible variations on this deal, but as with all three-team deals, finding a balance where each team gets what they want and can claim the trade as a win is extremely difficult.
The biggest takeaway from this entire report has to be that the Jazz wants a bigger catch than Gobert’s deal with Mitchell – the deal with the French big man has skewed the trading market. This has affected what the Nets expect (but don’t get) from Kevin Duran, and it led other league GMs to say, “I’m not overdoing it and risking the ridicule that Minnesota has faced over a one player/deal.” Danny Ainge will have a hard time getting that catch again.
We don’t know how far these three-team talks have progressed – the teams are talking about A LOT OF things on a superficial level that never go beyond serious discussions. But it won’t come as a shock if, as things get closer to training camp and trade talks with Mitchell start to heat up again, one of the three teams decides to once again back out of the deal.