In the midst of the Los Angeles Lakers planning for a potential future without their star player LeBron James, a credible source says the Lakers may be looking east for more star power, possibly even the Atlanta Hawks.
Jovan Buha, the Lakers reporter for the Athletic, states that the Lakers are looking for a third wheel to bolster their offense. They would like to have Kyrie Irving, currently with the Dallas Mavericks. However, Buha reports that discussions have come up among Lakers brass about other top NBA players, including Hawks star player Trae Young.
The Lakers’ desire for a third star is known. And while Kyrie Irving remains the preference, other options are being explored.
Los Angeles has internally discussed the possibility of acquiring Trae Young, league sources tell @jovanbuha.
More potential offseason moves:
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 23, 2023
Although Young is one of the considerations Buha mentions in the report (subscription required to read), in Atlanta, the notion of Young heading to the Lakers is getting the most attention. However, the Lakers don’t have that much compensation (players on the Lakers roster or draft picks) to offer the Hawks in exchange for Young. Young is the centerpiece of their roster, and although he does have high value, the future-focused Hawks would rather build the team around him than deal him away.
Then there are questions James raised himself last night after their season-ending loss to the Denver Nuggets as to whether he will return to the Lakers and basketball period. He has yet to state publically if he will definitely return next season or retire during the offseason. The idea according to the Athletic’s report was to add more offensive power around James. Would the Lakers need Young if LeBron calls it a career? Or will the Lakers take a closer look at Young to replace their retiring star player?
Young, the Lakers, and the Hawks have not commented on these reports.