4 Los Angeles Lakers trade targets this summer to pair with new coach, including All-Star

Los Angeles Lakers trade targets
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The Los Angeles Lakers coaching search is drawing to a close, but there’s still a lot of work left to do if this team wants to be a championship contender next season. With the first phase of the offseason nearing a conclusion, we’re turning our attention to Lakers trade targets for this summer.

Los Angeles obviously doesn’t have a ton of draft assets to work with in trade talks. Because the New Orleans Pelicans own the Lakers’ 2025 first-round pick, the Stepien Rule will prevent Los Angeles from dealing its first-round pick in 2026. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ 2027 first is owned by the Utah Jazz, which means the 2028 first-round selection also can’t be traded.

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With all of that information in mind, let’s dive into our Lakers trade target for 2024.

DeJounte Murray, guard, Atlanta Hawks

Los Angeles Lakers trade targets, DeJounte Murray
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Trae Young is the more popular name among Lakers trade targets this summer. He’s younger than DeJounte Murray and has earned more All-Star selections in his NBA career. However, if given the choice, we’d prioritize Murray if we’re making the decision for Los Angeles.

  • DeJounte Murray stats (2022-’24): 21.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 46.2% FG, 35.5% 3PT, .084 Win Shares per 48 Minutes, .548 TS% on 25.5% Usage rate
  • Trae Young stats (2022-’24): 26.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG< 10.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 43% FG, 35.4% 3PT, .121 Win Shares per 48 Minutes, .578 TS% on 31.7% Usage rate

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For one thing, Murray ($28.517 million AAV) is a lot cheaper than Young ($43.031 million AAV). Furthermore, he has a much higher Defensive RATPOR (-1.1) than Young (-3.9). Acquiring Young would certainly be better than doing nothing, but Murray should be the preferred option for the Lakers’ front office this summer.

Donovan Mitchell, guard, Cleveland Cavaliers

Los Angeles Lakers trade targets, Donovan Mitchell
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This will be the most ambitious of our Lakers trade targets. Donovan Mitchell seems happy with the Cleveland Cavaliers right now, but if ownership won’t give him the financial commitment he is looking for then things could change in a hurry.

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Mitchell would eventually take over for LeBron James as the face of the franchise. This season, the All-Star guard basically carried the Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs. He also stepped up as a leader and carried himself in a way that fits very well with past Lakers stars. After averaging 27.5 PPG and 5.2 APG in the last two seasons, Mitchell could ascend into superstardom with Los Angeles.

Lauri Markkanen, forward, Utah Jazz

Los Angeles Lakers trade targets, Lauri Markkanen
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Los Angeles has been linked to plenty of deals for guards in NBA trade rumors. However, acquiring a player like Lauri Markkanen in another big trade with the Utah Jazz is just as possible. After all, he’d provide a lot of the things the Lakers are seeking.

  • Lauri Markkanen stats (2023-24): 23.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 48% FG, 39.9% 3PT, .168 WS/48

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There would obviously be a lot of competition for Markkanen on the trade market. However, there’s immense benefit for Los Angeles in making a hard push for him. Markkanen (3.2 three-pointers made per game last season) would provide the Lakers with the perimeter shooting James needs around him. However, he would need a new contract after next season.

Nikola Vucevic, center, Chicago Bulls

Los ANgeles Lakers trade targets
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One alternate option for the Lakers this offseason is adding another big man. if Los Angeles isn’t able to win a bidding war with other Western Conference contenders for an All-Star guard, then it could save some of its assets and make a less expensive move for a player like Nikola Vucevic.

Vucevic, age 33, doesn’t require a massive commitment. He’s owed a $20 million salary next season and $21.481 million for the 2025-’26 campaign, fitting into the timeline until LeBron would likely retire. It wouldn’t be a splashy move by any means, but adding Vucevic should at least help Los Angeles move up a bit in the Western Conference next season.

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