Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors

What a Lakers-Hawks trade for Trae Young would look like

What would it take for the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks to agree to a Trae Young trade?

The Lakers will spend another offseason searching for answers after getting swept out of the conference finals by the Nuggets. While LA has the tools to build another contender next season — that is, assuming LeBron James doesn’t actually retire — it could take a splashy trade to really move the needle.

One name has already been connected to the Lakers: Atlanta’s Trae Young. The Hawks were eliminated in the first round by the Celtics and Young spent a good portion of the ensuing weeks watching the Lakers live in arena. LA reportedly held internal conversations about Young, and he’s a Klutch Sports client, so the LeBron-AD relationship is baked in.

That said, the logistics of such a move could be challenging to overcome.

How can the Lakers tempt the Hawks into a Trae Young trade?

Here’s the general shape of a Lakers-Hawks trade for Trae Young. But the behind-the-scenes politics would be equally as important as the physical trade package.

Lakers Get

Trae Young

Hawks Get

Malik Beasley

Mo Bamba

Jarred Vanderbilt

2028 first-round pick swap + 2029 first-round pick (unprotected)

The Lakers are operating at a significant asset disadvantage here. Most of their major players except for LeBron James and Anthony Davis are entering free agency. Even Malik Beasley’s $16.5 million contract for next season is non-guaranteed, and the Lakers will have to strongly consider cutting ties after Beasley was benched in the postseason.

To give this trade any real shot, the Lakers would have to find another avenue to acquire assets  — potentially a sign-and-trade involving Austin Reaves or D’Angelo Russell. If the Lakers can squeeze a few first-round picks out of Reaves and Russell on their way out the door, those picks could be redirected to Atlanta. But that’s only if Reaves and Russell don’t find teams to sign them with cap space.

It would also take some politicking on the part of James, Davis, and Young. The Klutch Sports machine is a powerful force in the NBA world. If Young demands a trade specifically to the Lakers, that could hurt the bargaining power for other teams. That said, Young is under contract through at least 2026. The Hawks are under no imminent pressure to trade him and other teams could conceivably gamble on Young, even if he were to vocalize a desire to play for the Lakers.

Los Angeles can internally discuss the possibility of acquiring Trae Young all they want. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. The Hawks hold all the cards, and the Lakers would need something close to a miracle to make the Trae-Lakers dream a reality.

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