Posting date: May 24, 10:58h.
Last updated: May 24, 2023 at 11:35h
After LeBron James hinted at a potential retirement, the Los Angeles Lakers discussed trade options for Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young.
The Athletic stated that the Lakers were in internal discussions regarding pursuing Young as a trade. Jeannie buss and Rob Pelinka discussed hypothetically what it would take to bring Young back to Tinsel Town. The Mavs failed to make the Play-In Tournament and missed the postseason. It was a disappointing finish for the Mavs after they reached the Western Conference finals in the previous year.The Lakers seek a point guard for next season, and Young joins Irving on their shortlist of potential off-season acquisitions.
In five seasons with the Hawks, Young made two trips to the All-Star Game. Over his career, he averaged 25.5 pts, 9.3 aises, 3.7 rebounds, and 35.1% of 3-pointers. LeBron floated retirement after the Lakers’ exit from the playoffs.
The Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets sweepingly in the Western Conference Finals. James hinted at retirement during a presser after the disappointing Game 4 loss. This was something he had never done before.
“I don’t know. To be honest, I have a lot of things to consider. Just for me, personally, going forward with the game of basketball.”
James stated numerous times that wants to remain in the NBA long enough to play alongside his youngest son, Bronny, who recently accepted a scholarship to USC. James’ contract has two more years, with a player option to extend it until 2024-25. He will undergo an MRI to determine if surgery or rest will be the best option in the postseason.
If James retires, then the Lakers need to add another All-Star caliber player to keep up with the potent offenses in the Western Conference. Young could provide the Lakers with much-needed scoring that they lacked in their four losses to the Nuggets. James was mortal in the postseason, even though he scored 40 points against the Nuggets in an elimination match. The Mavs chose Young as the fifth-best pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. In his second season, Young averaged 29.6 per game, a career-best, and was named to the All-Star Team. Young became a villain in Gotham for his antics and was not shy to launch 3-point bombs off the center-court logo. He thrived and fed off the negative reaction from the rambunctious crowd at Madison Square Garden, who mercilessly teased him about his thinning hairline.
Young drew comparisons to Indiana Pacers shooting guard Reggie Miller, who tormented the Knicks in the 1990s. Young stepped up to the plate as the new villain for the New York City media machine. Quin Snyder was appointed midway through 2022-23 after the Hawks dismissed Nate McMillan. McMillan and Young clashed numerous times during his tenure with the Hawks, and McMillian suspected he would get fired in the off-season.
The Hawks dismissed McMillan during the All-Star break after a disappointing 29-30 record. McMillan faced a similar situation when he took over for former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce in the middle 2020-21 season. Pierce was ejected from the locker room for a spat with Young. McMillian took the Hawks all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals after the Hawks’ coaching changed. Two veteran coaches in Atlanta lost their jobs when they disagreed with Young. Heat was the betting favorite for the division with -350 odds. Heat had +350 odds. FiveThirtyEight predicted the Hawks would finish the regular season with a 41-41 record, which is exactly what happened.
The Hawks headed to the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament and defeated the Heat in the first game to secure the #7 seed. The Hawks were down 0-2 against the Boston Celtics but fought hard to win the remaining six games.