Lakers Pitch Sees LeBron Head to Sixers, Land 2 All-Star Replacements

Los Angeles Lakers, Trae Young, LeBron James, Paul George

Getty LeBron James against the Nuggets.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in an interesting position heading into the 2024 NBA offseason. In a position to get better, the Lakers have assets to complete a trade and land someone who can help the team. However, searching for 10 blockbuster trades and deals that need to happen this offseason, Chris Herring of ESPN has LeBron James signing with the Philadelphia 76ers. If that happened, Herring has the Lakers replacing James with Paul George. After the signing of George, he proposed a deal that’d land Trae Young from the Atlanta Hawks in a deal that’d involve Austin Reaves.

Lakers would get: Young

Hawks would get: Reaves, Rui Hachimura, either Gabe Vincent or Jarred Vanderbilt, and draft picks

“If Los Angeles loses James and replaces him with George, who’s settled into handling the ball less, the Lakers would be wise to find someone who takes no issue with handling it more.

“Young, as someone who shared ballhandling responsibility with Dejounte Murray the past two seasons in Atlanta, fits that bill,” Herring wrote on May 28. “His efficiency can wane; particularly from deep, but he’s also a playmaker whose penetration would create easy looks for Davis, who would immediately become the best big Young has ever played with.”

James would opt out of the one-year, $51.4 million he has left on his Lakers contract in this scenario from Herring.

Trae Young the ‘Most Realistic’ Option for Los Angeles Lakers

Young has been a name floating around for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. However, in most of those rumors, it’s to pair him with James and Anthony Davis, not George.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic said in April that Young is “the most realistic” player for the Lakers right now.

“Now, who’s available? The one name I continually hear is Trae Young,” Buha said. “He’s been to Laker playoff games before. He’s a Klutch Sports client. That’s probably the most realistic one right now.”

There could be other options for the Lakers, depending on who becomes available. Potential names have included Donovan Mitchell, Dejounte Murray, and others in the early stages of the offseason.

How Young Would Help the Lakers

Whether James is on the Los Angeles Lakers or not, Young would be an intriguing option to pair with Davis.

The team likely looks better with James on it as he had a better season than George, despite being 39-years-old. The Lakers star averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists during the 2023-24 season. He also shot 41.0% from three-point range, the highest mark of his career.

George is coming off a seaosn where he averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.

Young would be able to create shots for James, and Davis as he’s one of the best passers in basketball if the Lakers kept their star duo together and added him. This past season, the three-time All-Star averaged 10.8 assists, the most in his career.

That comes after a season where Young averaged 10.2 assists per game. He’s had at least 9.3 assists in every season besides his rookie year.

The 6-foot-1 guard also averaged 25.7 points and shot 37.3% from three-point range last season.

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