The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the postseason by the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, which means offseason rumor season is officially underway in L.A. Free agent to-be Kyrie Irving has frequently been mentioned as a top target for the Lakers heading into the summer, but the team is also apparently interested in acquiring another star guard: Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks were eliminated in six games in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, and there are questions about the franchise's direction moving forward. The rest of the league is well aware of this, and teams are starting to circle with the hopes of prying away some of the team's top talent. The Lakers have had internal discussions about what a hypothetical trade offer for Young could look like this offseason, according to Jovan Buha of the Athletic. Young is currently under contract through the 2026-27 season.
While there's nothing wrong with having internal discussions, it seems extremely unlikely that the Lakers would actually be able to pull off a trade for Young given the sheer size of his contract, and their lack of trade assets. A trade for Young -- who was sitting courtside on Monday at Crypto.com Arena -- would probably have to include either LeBron James or Anthony Davis, and that would negate the point of acquiring Young in the first place.
There's also the matter of James, who admitted that he was pondering retirement following the Lakers' loss to the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals. The Lakers need to figure out what James' future holds before they make any other moves, because their approach to team-building would be drastically different if he actually does retire. It seems unlikely that James will walk away, but we won't know for sure until we hear it from him.
Young isn't the first player to be mentioned as a potential target for the Lakers this offseason, and he assuredly won't be the last. After making it to the conference finals, it's clear that the team is still capable of competing at a high level with its current core, but some additions are necessary in order for the team to raise its' ceiling. As a result, the offseason promises to be an eventful one in Laker land.