Lakers are ‘leaning towards’ adding more depth instead of trading for new star

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Probably the biggest rumours on the NBA’s summer trading are surrounding the Lakers camp, as they didn’t have a great campaign this year and are enjoying LeBron James’ last years as a professional. According to the latest reports, now the team is leaning towards adding more depth, rather than add a third star. 

Insider Jovan Buha explained the reasons beings this recent turn of events, as players like Dejounte Murray and Donovan Mitchell had been linked to the purple and gold franchise in these past weeks.

“My sense right now is they’re leaning more toward upgrading the supporting cast rather than the three-star model,” said The Athletic reporter, also adding that paying a higher luxury tax bill isn’t in the club’s plans.

After their 47-35 mark regular season, and losing five games to the Nuggets in the playoff’s first round, Buha revealed that LeBron will have a saying in the Los Angeles team’s new direction. “The Lakers have pushed back in recent weeks and months on the notion of going down the three-star build path, so we’ll see how that all shakes out. I think LeBron James will have a say in that,” he said.

The insider also said that Austin Reaves is “going to be the player that every franchise asks for” this summer, especially considering how his contract is more valuable when compared to other trade assets inside the Lakers roster like Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, Rui Hachimura, or even D’Angelo Russell.

Sources inside the purple and gold organization assure that they would only entertain a negotiation for Reaves if it would include trading in for a star player, as the team considers him a core part of their locker room.

“I’ve heard the Lakers do not want to trade Austin Reaves. They love Austin Reaves. But, if there was a scenario in which they would consider trading him, it would have to be for a bona fide All-Star,” the reporter said a couple of weeks ago on Buha’s Block.

The Los Angeles insider also explained why the Lakers learned their lesson from Russell Westbrook’s 2021 trade

Buha then explained why the Lakers front office sees Russell Westbrook’s 2021 trade as a “cautionary tale”, and would be very careful when putting together a large offer when negotiating for Atlanta stars Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

“I think any of the guys that they are looking at are better players, and better fits, than Russell Westbrook, and would complement LeBron and AD better than Russ did,” the insider expressed last month. “I think if you have two guys at the level of LeBron and AD, two top-10, top-12 guys, and you bring in a guy who can complement them with a level of playmaking and shooting and passing and ball-handling.”

Yet another NBA insider took the mic last month to confirm that the Los Angeles club, as well as other teams such as Brooklyn, are preparing their proposals for Cleveland icon Donovan Mitchell. This time it was none other than Brian Windhorst who revealed that they “have their offers ready” on ESPN’s Get Up. 

“I’m trying to walk the line, because I don’t want anybody to freak out in my hometown of Cleveland, but there a number of teams that have their offers ready. They’re ready,” the reporter expressed on air.