Lakers News: Rumored All-Star Trade Candidate on Market After Draft Lottery

But should L.A. take the leap?
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss (left) and general
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss (left) and general / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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After losing in the first round and firing former head coach Darvin Ham this season, the Los Angeles Lakers seem primed to be going big-game hunting again this summer, most likely via trade rather than free agency.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, one of the Lakers' rumored top trade targets, Atlanta Hawks All-Star point guard Trae Young, is very much available, especially now that the Hawks have netted the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft — their first No. 1 since 1975.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for Atlanta to start reshaping their roster," Woj said during an ESPN broadcast recently. "I think the possibility of trade talks including Trae Young this spring and into the summer are very real too. But that No. 1 overall pick for the Hawks gives them a chance to bring in an impact player if they decide to maybe go younger and start rebuilding this group."

Funnily enough, Young's one-time All-Star backcourt mate, Dejounte Murray (with whom he's been long-rumored to not quite get along), was also a rumored Lakers target at this year's trade deadline. Instead, Los Angeles team president Rob Pelinka ultimately decided not to make any moves at all. He did bring in L.A. native Spencer Dinwiddie off the buyout market, and that addition worked out about as well as a buyout market addition generally does (i.e. not well).

Now, it seems Pelinka is primed to be more aggressive once again. The Lakers have three first round draft picks they could move in a trade, and although Murray probably won't cost that much, Young could, given his pedigree. Ironically, Murray would make more sense as an L.A. fit, given his positional versatility (he can play either guard spot, and is more comfortable off the ball) and his defensive acumen (he made an All-Defensive Second Team in 2018). Young is a terrible defender and a bit of a ball hog, which would be less-than-ideal on a LeBron James-led team. But Young is also the starrier name. And we all know Rob Pelinka has a weakness for bringing on starrier names that don't make great roster sense.

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Alex Kirschenbaum


Basketball is Alex's favorite sport, he likes the way they dribble up and down the court.