Spurs, Lakers Leading Suitors For Trae Young?

The Hawks‘ decision to hold onto Dejounte Murray at the trade deadline has rival teams speculating that they might part with Trae Young this summer, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column (subscription required). If that happens, Stein expects plenty of suitors to line up, with the Spurs and Lakers possibly leading the way.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports published a similar report in the wake of Thursday’s trade deadline and also identified San Antonio and Los Angeles as prospective suitors for Young.

There have been rumors for months that San Antonio might be a realistic location for Young, according to Stein. His ability to stretch the floor would provide more space for Victor Wembanyama to operate, and Wembanyama’s size and shot-blocking could help cover up for Young’s shortcomings on defense. Stein states that it’s “believed in some corners of the league” that Young would be interested in joining the Spurs if Atlanta decides to move him.

Stein also cites the Lakers as a potential destination, considering that Anthony Davis is a good complement for Young’s skills as well. L.A. was rumored to be among the leading contenders to acquire Murray, and general manager Rob Pelinka will have a lot more trade ammunition to work with during the offseason.

“In terms of what was available at the trade deadline, we had one first-round draft pick,” Pelinka said after this year’s deadline passed. “It was our only sort of hook to fish with. And this summer in June, at the time of the draft, we’ll have three first-round draft picks to look for deals, which I think will really unlock an access to potentially a greater or bigger swing.”

Stein points out that the Lakers aren’t completely sure about the future of LeBron James, who faces a decision on a $51.4MM player option. While it seems likely that he’ll choose to take the money, the organization is preparing for all scenarios, according to Stein, and the draft prospects of his son, USC freshman Bronny James, could enter into the equation.

Bronny is no longer considered a first-round prospect, but Stein hears that at least two teams — and possibly more — believe LeBron would considering signing with them for much less than his option figure if they were to select his son in the second round.

If that were to happen, Stein adds, the Lakers would need a marquee name like Young to take his place and Pelinka would be relieved that he held onto the 2027 first-rounder at the deadline.

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