4 Trades the Lakers can make to upgrade roster after LeBron gobbled up the money

The Los Angeles Lakers are in a tight financial situation but still need to upgrade the roster. What trades can they make after LeBron James took the max?
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls and Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls and Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Trade No. 1: Trae Young

The Atlanta Hawks traded Dejounte Murray this offseason, accomplishing their goal of breaking up Murray and Trae Young. What's less clear is whether the Hawks want to keep Young for the long haul, or if they would be open to moving him and focusing on developing their young core, no matter what picks they owe.

The upside of the future picks the Lakers would offer is tantalizing. LeBron will be retired (we can only assume) by 2029, and Anthony Davis will be 36 years old. Those picks could net really valuable players for the Hawks, or be strong chips to use in a trade. They have the potential to develop a strong young core, and being able to play a different style than Young's heliocentric pounding of the rock would be intriguing.

To trade for Young, however, the Lakers need to move a lot of money. They cannot take back more than they send out both because they are on the edge of the second tax apron and because taking more money back in a trade triggers the much lower first apron. They will need to combine multiple contracts to match in addition to the two first-round picks they send out. It's very possible that's not even enough, but it's what the Lakers can offer:

Lakers Trae Young deal

The Atlanta Hawks get those highly valuable picks and a solid starting point guard in D'Angelo Russell and a solid backup, presumed healthy, in Gabe Vincent. Rui Hachimura is a candidate to be flipped down the line, but his strength and scoring ability may elevate him above the other options on the Hawks.

The Lakers get Trae Young, an explosive player with seemingly limitless range and incredible passing vision. LeBron loves to play with smart players who can make every read and throw every pass, and that's Young. His defensive shortcomings matter but aren't the primary story, and having LeBron and AD helps any player be less damaging on defense.

None of these deals are easily negotiated or obviously attainable, but they're intriguing ideas and any one of them could end up happening if the Lakers manage to pull something off despite LeBron increasing the difficulty level.

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