Lakers were willing to trade two first-round picks for Irving/Mitchell

Contrary to previous reports, perhaps the Lakers were willing to give up enough draft capital to land Kyrie Irving or Donovan Mitchell.

Early this summer, the big talk surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers was their quest to trade Russell Westbrook for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving.

Those talks ultimately fell apart, and one reason, according to multiple reports, was the Lakers’ supposed unwillingness to include two future first-round draft picks.

The team then showed interest in another All-Star guard, Donovan Mitchell, who was eventually sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to a new report by Dave McMenamin, those initial reports about Los Angeles not wanting to send out enough draft capital were wrong.

Via Lakers Daily:

“Though the team ultimately came up short, stars like Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell were reportedly considered. In fact, the Lakers reportedly showed a willingness to part ways with both their 2027 first-round pick and 2029 first-round pick if it meant getting a chance to land either Irving or Mitchell.

“‘Listen, had the Lakers been able to acquire Kyrie Irving or the Lakers been able to acquire Donovan Mitchell, both those players, the Lakers were willing and able to move both those picks,’ reported Dave McMenamin on Brian Windhorst’s podcast.”

On Monday, general manager Rob Pelinka talked about the importance of using the Lakers’ draft capital only in a trade that would greatly improve their chances of winning the NBA championship while LeBron James is still with them.

Their options as far as a potential Westbrook trade have dried up as the summer has progressed, but there is always a chance something highly viable opens up closer to the trade deadline in February.

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New Cavs star Donovan Mitchell is down with Brownie the Elf

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Donovan Mitchell reps Brownie the Elf in a photo with a fan

The Cleveland Cavaliers recently pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. Mitchell hasn’t suited up for the Cavs yet, but the newest Cleveland standout is already ingratiating himself with the local fans.

Mitchell posed for a picture with a fan, and it’s circulating on Twitter. Abby Mueller got a quick pic with Mitchell, who was rocking a sweet white Cavs hoodie. But it’s his choice of headgear that grabbed the attention.

Mitchell was wearing a white Browns hat featuring Brownie the Elf, the team’s mascot. He knows how to please the fans with the iconic Brownie, who now graces the midfield of FirstEnergy Stadium.

That’s how you win crossover fans, Donovan!

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Jazz officially announce acquisitions of Sexton, Agbaji from Cavaliers

The Jazz finalized the trade involving Donovan Mitchell on Thursday after each player successfully completed their physicals.

The Utah Jazz on Thursday announced they acquired Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Donovan Mitchell.

The trade was agreed upon on Sept. 1 and it was reported at that time that the Jazz will also receive three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps. The Jazz finalized the transaction on Thursday after each player successfully completed his physical.

Utah worked throughout much of the summer to find a new destination for Mitchell. The organization set a high price for its All-Star and did not waver from that request, ultimately leading to a haul of players and future assets from Cleveland.

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On the other side, the Cavaliers upgraded their roster after failing to qualify for the playoffs last season. The team added a bona fide scorer, Mitchell, to a roster that includes All-Stars Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland and second-year center Evan Mobley.

The Cavaliers improved their odds of winning the championship next season, according to the Tipico Sportsbook. They moved from plus-10,000 to plus-5,000 following the trade, which represents the sixth-best odds in the Eastern Conference.

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Donovan Mitchell tried winning over Ohio State fans on Twitter and Mikal Bridges saw right through it

You can’t fool Mikal Bridges

ICYMI: NBA superstar Donovan Mitchell was traded on Thursday from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers in arguably the league’s biggest off-season trade.

Mitchell has spent all of one full day as a member of the Cavs and he’s already doing his best to win over as many Ohio fans as possible.

Completely unprompted, Spida announced to his Twitter followers on Saturday afternoon who he’s rolling with ahead of the weekend’s big Ohio State-Notre Dame game.

As you may have guessed, he’s rolling with the Buckeyes tonight.

While the Buckeyes are a wise pick (they’re the favorite, the No. 2 team in the nation and have the home-field advantage), it’s blatantly obvious what Mitchell is doing here.

And I can’t blame him.

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges isn’t letting this slide, though.

Nothing like a little fun NBA banter between players.

Anyways, we know who Donovan Mitchell’s pick for the night is. Who’s yours?

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What does the Donovan Mitchell trade mean to the Boston Celtics?

How much of a threat are the young Cavs in the East this year and potentially down the road to Boston?

Rightfully lost a bit in the panic surrounding what the Boston Celtics ought to do in the wake of the news that veteran forward Danilo Gallinari is likely to miss all of the 2022-23 NBA season due to a torn left ACL is a deeper analysis of the trade that sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers and what that could mean for the Celtics.

But there’s been some analysis despite the other important issues happening far deeper in the doldrums than is normal — or in this case, desired. Brian Robb, the host of the CLNS Media “Winning Plays” podcast, and guest Tim  McKone of 98.5 The Sports Hub gave their instant reaction to Utah Jazz CEO of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge pulling off a blockbuster deal by sending Mitchell from the Jazz to the Cavs.

How much of a threat are the young Cavs in the East this year and potentially down the road to Boston?

The guys also analyze Gallinari’s injury and potential big opportunities up and down the roster in his absence.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts:


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The Donovan Mitchell trade is done, but the Knicks still need to do something with all these draft picks

The Knicks have some (good) problems to solve

Welcome to Layup Lines, our daily NBA newsletter where we’ll prep you for a tip-off of tonight’s action, from what to watch to bets to make. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox every afternoon

What’s good, family? It’s Sykes here with another edition of Layup Lines. And, yes, I’m still stuck on the Knicks.

The Donovan Mitchell trade is done — he’s a Cleveland Cavalier now. They’re almost certainly going to be one of the top 6 teams in the Eastern Conference and have a legitimate shot at homecourt advantage in the playoffs.

But the biggest story here doesn’t feel like it’s what the Cavaliers did. Rather, it’s what the Knicks didn’t do.

For weeks now, the Jazz and Knicks have been flirting with each other surrounding a possible Mitchell trade. Everyone knew the Knicks had the assets to get it done. Everyone knew the Jazz wanted their plethora of picks.

We all just knew it was going to happen. But it didn’t. And Knicks fans everywhere —including Stephen A. Smith — are devastated.

But now it’s time to move on. It’s time to figure out what’s next. And the team has done a solid job of at least getting that started by extending RJ Barrett. But there’s still a large question looming ahead for New York. And that question is: What in the world are they going to do with all those draft picks?

New York currently has 7 1st round picks between the 2023 and 2025 NBA drafts. That’s a pretty good spot to be in, to be sure. But there’s absolutely no way they’re rostering that many 1st round picks over the next 3 years — especially not with 4 of them coming in 2023.

The Knicks are trying to compete. They want to make the playoffs and they want to be taken seriously. That’s why they extended Barrett. That’s why Tom Thibodeau is still their head coach.

Having 4 rookies on one roster resets their timeline and that’s not where they’re at. Not even close.

They didn’t make the Mitchell move, but they’re going to have to do something. It’s easy to say they can just wait for the next disgruntled superstar to come up, but that isn’t something that just happens. It’s not common practice. And, even when it does happen, there’s no guarantee the Knicks will be able to snag him.

They could flip the picks again. Just kick the can even further down the road as they continue to build this thing out. And that’s not a bad idea. But it doesn’t help the team get much better in the short term the way they seem to want it to.

There’s no easy answer here. But, all in all, it’s not a bad position to be in. They’ll just have to figure it out. Good luck to Knicks fans as they watch their team navigate through this all.

We know how patient they are.

The Tip-Off

Some NBA goodness from around the USA TODAY Sports network.

Danny Ainge looks at someone
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Speaking of the Mitchell trade, man, the Jazz made off like some bandits. They’re in complete teardown mode, obviously, and they’re not done. There’s plenty more talent to ship out.

In the meantime, their cupboard is filled with a nice stockpile of draft picks and prospects, as my colleague, Bryan Kalbrosky, pointed out here.

“Not only do they have a ton of draft picks in their cupboard but they also have the opportunity to add to that by continuing to clean out their roster.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley could all net more draft picks from contenders. Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, both included in the trade for Gobert, could potentially get moved for more picks as well.”

Bryan also laid out all their assets over the next few years and it’s a ton. Go check it out. They’re really giving the Thunder a run for their money.


(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

— Giannis Antetkounmpo pulled off one of the most absurd blocks you’ll see in Eurobasket.

— It seems Danilo Gallinari has torn his ACL, according to reports. What a bummer.

— Carmelo Anthony might be an option for the Celtics at forward to replace him.

— J Cole is really on the cover of a basketball game. What a time.

That’s all, folks! Enjoy the weekend.

Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

How much better would the Knicks have been with Donovan Mitchell anyway?

Mitchell didn’t guarantee the Knicks a playoff spot in 2022-23.

A swing and and a miss.

That phrase is becoming as synonymous with the New York Knicks as it is with the Yankees or Mets. The Knicks were again in pursuit of a high-profile player available to be had, and they again failed to land that player.

This time it was Donovan Mitchell, who the Utah Jazz traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Predictably, the NBA world used the moment as an opportunity to clown the Knicks.

Belly-laugh. Deep inhale, let it out.

OK, now that that’s out the way, here’s some sobering truth about the situation: the Knicks weren’t guaranteed to make the playoffs even if they did get Mitchell. Actually, that would’ve been funnier.

New York finished 11th in the Eastern Conference last season, which is right around where they sit on the list of betting odds for the 2022-23 season. Their +4000 odds to win the East are 10th at Tipico Sportsbook. The line for their win total is 39.5. Odds favor them to miss the playoffs again. Acquiring Mitchell, undoubtedly would have improved those odds, but likely not by much.

The teams with the next closest odds to New York are the Hawks, Bulls and Raptors, all tied at +2000, and all playoff teams from last season. The Hawks added an All-Star themselves in Dejounte Murray this offseason. The Bulls still have the DeMar DeRozan-Zach LaVine tandem, and they were one of the best teams in the NBA before injuries hit. And the Raptors are a young budding team that not only had the best record of these four teams, but also pushed the Sixers to six games last postseason.

Are we sure Mitchell would have automatically made the Knicks better than any of those three, let alone the Celtics, Bucks, Nets, Heat and Sixers? I wouldn’t be so sure, especially considering what New York would have given up in the trade. Utah turned down a deal earlier in the summer that included RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

New York’s last offer included Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Jazz wanted more, including potentially another young player.

In addition to parting with a minimum of three unprotected first-round picks, New York would have gutted its depth in order to acquire Mitchell. It would have been a devastating move for their long-term outlook, and any short-term improvements wouldn’t be enough to justify the cost.

If you’re a fringe title contender like the Cleveland Cavaliers believed themselves to be, you absolutely go get the player you think takes you over the top. When you’re a bottom-five team in the conference, holding onto your draft picks and best young players is better than taking a swing for a shot at the play-in tournament.

New York will probably miss the playoffs again next year, but after failing to make this deal, at least they’ll be able to continue building towards the postseason until the time is right to pull the trigger on a big trade.

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Donovan Mitchell ‘went screaming around the golf course’ when he got word of his trade from Utah Jazz to Cleveland Cavaliers

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says the NBA star “went screaming around the golf course” when he learned of trade.

Ever been on the golf course when you got some good news?

NBA guard Donovan Mitchell did.

Rumored to be headed to the New York Knicks, Mitchell instead was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Utah Jazz. And he was playing golf when he got word of the deal.

A story by says that ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Mitchell was playing golf when he learned that not only he was traded but that key pieces of the Cavaliers roster—Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Kevin Love—will still be there when Mitchell joins them in Cleveland next season.

Windhorst said:

When he found out, he was on a golf course, and when he found out that Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Darius Garland were not in the trade, and neither was Kevin Love, he went screaming around the golf course, he was so excited. He’s extremely excited in this moment.

In exchange, the Cavs sent guards Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji, forward Lauri Markkanen, a first-round pick in the 2022 draft and three unprotected first-round picks to Utah. The teams also swapped two other draft picks.

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What could Donovan Mitchell trade to Cavaliers mean for Sixers’ future?

What does the Cleveland Cavaliers acquiring Donovan Mitchell mean for the Philadelphia 76ers and their future?

The Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the NBA world on Thursday when they pulled off a blockbuster trade, acquiring star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. The deal puts the Cavs in the race for the Eastern Conference title and gives them a very bright future at the moment.

What does this mean for the Philadelphia 76ers? This means the time to win a title is now. They have two stars, Joel Embiid and James Harden, and it is time to win a title while both are still upright and able to make a peak impact.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski joined “Get Up” on Friday morning and praised the Cavaliers for the Mitchell move:

This is a team that may have as many as four All-Star caliber players and they’re young. This is a team that’s not only going to be really good, now, they are built to be really good for a very long time. A force in the Eastern Conference and beyond. Donovan Mitchell, three years left on his deal, and he’s from New York. Certainly, the idea of playing at the Garden, playing for the Knicks really appealed to him, but I know that he was really enthusiastic last night when he talked to the Cavaliers, starting to talk to his new teammates, and saw like everyone else does just how deep, how talented, how good this team is going to be.

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Woj makes a great point. The Cavaliers are going to feature Mitchell, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley in their starting lineup, and they’re only going to get better. Now is the time for the Sixers to take advantage of what they have in front of them and then go out there and get it done when the season begins in October.

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Donovan Mitchell traded to Cleveland: What it means for the Cavaliers and Jazz

After nearly two months of reported trade discussions between the Jazz and Knicks over Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers swooped in and acquired the coveted guard. They will be sending back the Jazz a haul featuring three unprotected first-round …

After nearly two months of reported trade discussions between the Jazz and Knicks over Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers swooped in and acquired the coveted guard. They will be sending back the Jazz a haul featuring three unprotected first-round picks, two pick swaps, Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The acquisition of Mitchell, along with the expected continual development of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, should elevate the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

Below is a breakdown of the trade and how it impacts the Cavaliers and Jazz going forward.