The 2024 NBA Draft is just hours away and the Los Angeles Lakers have some decisions to make. Do they draft some promising youngsters with their two first-round picks to help safeguard their future? Or do they use the pick to go all-in on winning now? The latest rumor is that Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis are advocating for the latter ahead of their first season under new head coach JJ Redick.

“[The Lakers] need more high-level talent, and they need it fast if they’re going to keep LeBron James and Anthony Davis from growing frustrated about this uncertain Lakers future ahead,” NBA insider Sam Amik writes in The Athletic. “And if the franchise cornerstones had their way, league sources say, the Lakers would prove their desire to win this week by going all-in for another elite player.”

While making two picks (Nos. 15 and 17) and safeguarding their other tradeable first-rounder (2029) makes the most sense for the future of the franchise, both James and Davis have a lot of leverage in this situation, as Amik explains.

“James has the leverage that comes with his forthcoming free agency, as he has until Saturday to decide whether to pick up his $51.4 million player option or opt out and sign a new deal (with the Lakers or elsewhere),” Amik writes. “Davis, meanwhile, has the organizational capital that comes with being a 31-year-old, nine-time All-Star who is signed through the 2027-28 season.”

All this adds up to the fact that general manager Rob Pelinka seems much more likely to trade these picks than to make them on Wednesday night. However, the big question is what NBA superstars could the Lakers pursue?

What elite players could be available to JJ Redick and the Lakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers head coach JJ Redick speaks to the media during an introductory news conference at the UCLA Health Training Center.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

JJ Redick steps into his first coaching situation with the second-best player of all time and another current top-10 NBA star on the roster in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

That’s pretty good, but LeBron has had his most success as part of a Big 3 (in Miami), and it seems that in his final few seasons, he wants that again.

If the Lakers do decide to use their three tradeable first-round picks to make an NBA draft night deal for a third star, the biggest problem is that it doesn’t seem many are available.

Maybe they could figure out a sign-and-trade with Paul George, but could the always-acrimonious LA Clippers and Lakers make a deal?

After that, there could be several other options. Trae Young seems the most likely to be dealt this summer. After that, you’re looking at Karl-Anthony Towns, Donovan Mitchell, or maybe Brandon Ingram.

While these players would all fit nicely with James, Davis, and the Lakers, would any of these teams take two mid-first-round picks in a weak draft and a third that is five drafts away from paying off?

It seems like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Orleans Pelicans would all hang up the phone on Pelinka offering that deal.

That leaves two paths for the Lakers.

The first is the Atlanta Hawks, who may be willing to give up Young for that type of package and start their rebuild with the first, 15th, and 17th picks in this draft. This is not a bad option, as Young’s shooting would complement LeBron and AD nicely.

The other path is the one we don’t know about yet. This is the NBA after all. There is an unhappy star out there somewhere who simply hasn’t gone to the media about it yet. Even so, there’s a good chance that the Lakers' real front office, LeBron and Rich Paul, know about this mystery player and could already have him in mind.

Either way, this is going to make for a fascinating Lakers 2024 NBA Draft night.