The Lakers are reportedly considering a move for Hawks star Trae Young this offseason, adding as a third man to the roster.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic on Tuesday, the franchise has had “internal discussions” about what a “hypothetical trade offer” for Young possibly could look like.
The Lakers season recently came to an end on Monday night, as they were shut out by the Nuggets 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals, losing Game 4 113-111.
Denver heads to its first NBA Finals in franchise history to face either Miami or Boston.
The team started out in the play-in tournament to reach the 2022-2023 playoffs, as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed valuable court time at the end of the regular season to help push the team to a locked-in position as one of the top six teams in the West.
Though the Lakers trade additions of D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura did help James and Davis make it to the Western Conference Finals, they fell to Western Conference Finals MVP Nikola Jokić in the end.
To note, both Young and Kyrie Irving were sitting courtside at Crypto Arena for the second time this post season and in the 2022 offseason at the Feb. 9 deadline, James pushed the Lakers to acquire Irving as the third star.
The former Nets star ended up pairing up with Luka Doncic in Dallas, who did not qualify for the playoffs.
Young, 24, has established himself as a top multi-skilled player in the league and if the Lakers had him, it would alleviate some ball handling off of James and Davis.
He was the fifth overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft and has since been named a two-time All Star, 2018-2019 All-Rookie, and 2021-2022 All NBA in his five-year professional career.
Each of the past three seasons with Young as the leading point guard, the Hawks have made the playoffs and most recently this year as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
They made a first round exit at the hands of Boston 2-4, but Young boasted a 29.2 point average per game in the playoff series along with 10.2 assists.
Young is still on the hunt for his first NBA championship and with his numbers paired with the right teammates, the odds could go in his favor.
Over his career, he averages 25.5 points and 9.3 assists per game with a .351 three-point shooting percentage.
He is currently on a five-year contract, getting $215,159,700 guaranteed with Atlanta, along with an annual average salary of $43,031,940, according to Spotrac.
The Lakers may find themselves in a rebuilding situation, as James suggested retirement in an interview with ESPN, saying he is thinking about “if I want to continue to play” next year.
“I got to think about it,” James replied when asked if he would walk away from the game all together.
The 19-time All Star and four-time NBA champion turns 39 in December and has one season remaining on his contract with L.A. worth $46.7 million for 2023-24 along with and a player option for the following season worth $50.4 million.