Fresh from getting swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, the Los Angeles Lakers will be entering the offseason with a fair deal of uncertainty, in part because of the team’s free agents and LeBron James floating the idea of retirement.
Don’t expect that uncertainty to quell the Lakers’ bid to get better over the summer. In fact, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has already intimated that he and coach Darvin Ham will be talking to James about his plans when the right time comes. He has also vowed to do everything to keep the team’s young core—which includes restricted free agents Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura—intact.
Apparently, the Lakers are also hell-bent on bringing a third star to Los Angeles.
Soon-to-be free agent Kyrie Irving has been linked to the Lakers ever since their early-season struggles, but nothing concrete has ever come out of this purported interest.
Now, another electric guard—the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young—is reportedly on the Lakers’ radar.
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha first reported about the Lakers’ interest in the two-time All-star, who has posted career averages of 25.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 9.3 assists in 353 regular season games.
According to Buha, the Lakers have had internal discussions about potentially trading for Young, whose possible role with the Purple and Gold would be similar to that of Irving’s—a high-scoring point guard who can relieve James of his playmaking duties for stretches.
Young, incidentally, has ties with both James and Lakers big man Anthony Davis as all three are represented by Klutch Sports Group, the sports agency founded by James’ longtime friend Rich Paul.
While Young looks like a natural fit alongside James and Davis, it remains to be seen if Pelinka would actually surrender some of the team’s young assets to trade for Ice Trae—especially with Irving lurking.