The Lakers already had plenty to sort out over the summer and now with LeBron hinting at retirement, things have been thrown into turmoil.
In case you missed it, LeBron shocked the world on Monday when he ended his press conference by saying, ““I got a lot to think about. … Just personally, with me moving forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about.”
The Lakers have so many options to build a better roster as they have the 17th pick in the upcoming NBA draft, could trade for their first pick in 2029, while the majority of their roster will enter free agency over the summer.
Let’s explore some potential trade targets for the purple and gold this offseason.
Does LeBron Still Want Kyrie?
Some NBA Insiders think LeBron’s public retirement comments are just a ploy to get the Lakers front office to give him what he wants.
“I’d bet on LeBron’s comments in part being a negotiation tactic: I’ll retire unless you go all-in next season. And the player James probably wants the Lakers to acquire is Kyrie Irving,” O’Connor said.
LeBron was disappointed when the Lakers didn’t make a play for Kyrie at the trade deadline in February.
James sees Irving “as someone that I had great chemistry with, and know I got great chemistry with on the floor, that can help you win championships, in my mind, in my eyes.”
Ultimately, the trades LA did make fell short of LeBron’s expectations because right before hinting at retirement he said, “I don’t play for anything besides winning championships at this point of my career.”
LeBron knows he and Kyrie are capable of winning a chip, like they did at the Cavs in 2016.
With Davis’ inconsistencies and James not getting any younger, Irving could definitely be the answer to James’ prayers.
AD to Dallas a Possibility
Speaking of Davis’ inconsistencies, what about trading him to Dallas for Irving?
Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd suggested earlier in the season that there were tensions between Davis and LeBron because of his unreliability, which forced LeBron to play more minutes than he would have liked.
Cowherd’s views on the matter are now stronger than ever following AD’s rollercoaster-like performances in the postseason.
“Dallas would love AD,” Cowherd said. “He solves all their issues. He gives them a second score. He’s not at all ball dependent. Luka gives you the 70 games and the consistent energy.
“Anthony scores 23 without really setting up plays for him. He gives them a rim protector. I heard at the trading deadline Dallas has their eye on Anthony Davis.
“The Lakers, they think LeBron still has a soft spot for Kyrie Irving. I think the Lakers and the Mavericks, you will hear in the next month something, I really believe that and I think you have to take the phone call and listen.”
Trae Young to Lakers Chatter Intensifies
Hawks guard Trae Young was at Crypto.com arena for the second time these playoffs during Game 4, which has only fuelled rumors of a Lakers trade.
Just before the postseason, talk of a Young trade out of Atlanta began and LA have reportedly spoken about acquiring the two-time All-Star.
“The Lakers have had internal discussions about what a hypothetical trade offer for Young could look like this summer, according to multiple league sources not authorized to speak publicly,” NBA Insider Jovan Buha wrote.
The 24-year-old would certainly give the Lakers an edge offensively as the dynamic player he is and if LeBron does continue playing, would help manage his load.
Fred VanVleet Another Target for LA
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet could become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his 2023-24 player option and he already has a Lakers connection.
“The Lakers do have other options beyond Kyrie Irving and not only just Fred VanVleet,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on GetUp. “The reason Fred VanVleet comes up is because it’s not clear whether the Raptors are going to move forward with the team that they have. It’s possible the Raptors can let him walk. And Fred VanVleet is represented by Rich Paul.”
The 29-year-old has one championship to his name (Raptors 2019) and during the regular season averaged a neat 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.2 assists, while shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from beyond the arc.