Lakers Named Heavy Favorites to Land 24-Year-Old Star if Traded

trae young

Getty Trae Young hugging LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise that consistently makes big splashes. The last big splash they made blew up in the team’s face as the Russell Westbrook trade set them back for two years. After a surprise Western Conference Finals berth this season, it might be best for the team to run it back with most of the pieces they acquired at the trade deadline last season.

Since the Lakers’ season ended, they have been linked to many star players. One of the most interesting is Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha floated him as a possible target for the team if he is traded. He’s only 24 years old so he’d be a good piece to have once LeBron James retires. He’s also a Klutch Sports client, which is the same agency that represents LeBron and Anthony Davis. He’d make a lot of sense in Los Angeles.

Apparently, oddsmakers believe there’s a good chance it will happen. According to, the Lakers are +125 favorites to land Young if he leaves the Hawks. The next highest is the Chicago Bulls at +500. It appears that oddsmakers believe that the most likely outcome is Young going to Los Angeles or staying in Atlanta.

Landing Young Won’t Be Easy for Lakers

Young getting traded to the Lakers is easier said than done. He’s Atlanta’s best player and the face of the franchise. They won’t give him up for scraps. A sign and trade with D’Angelo Russell might help but they’d need the guard to be willing to help. The Lakers would also have to give up whatever first-round picks that are eligible to be traded. Perhaps throwing in Austin Reaves would make it appealing to Atlanta.

The Hawks may still be able to get a better package from another team for Young. He’s under contract until 2027 so if the Lakers covet him, they’re going to have to trade for him. There could be a deal to be had but it would deplete the team’s depth. A trio of Young, Davis and LeBron would arguably be the best in the NBA but the two older veterans have a hard time staying healthy. Young is more durable but the lack of depth with a team that has two injury-prone stars would be cause for concern.

Superteams Haven’t Been Working

The Lakers should be averse to the idea of trying to build a superteam after the failed Westbrook experience. The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets being in the NBA Finals is further proof that it’s more important to build a team with great depth than it is just to have a bunch of superstars.

Young would be a solid player to replace LeBron once he retires but it’s too difficult to pay for all three of them. The Lakers should be focusing on moves to improve the overall roster. LeBron may get tempted into pushing the team to add another superstar due to his age but he accepted a max contract from the team and should be expected to have a max player role. If he wants another star to take the pressure off of him, he should consider taking less money on his next contract.

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