Recently, the NBA rumor mill has been heating up as it pertains to Atlanta Hawks star point guard Trae Young, who has been out of the lineup since late February after undergoing surgery on his finger. Since then, the Hawks have strangely made up a bit of ground in the vaunted Eastern Conference playoff picture, leading some to wonder if the team might opt to look for potential Young trade suitors this offseason.

Naturally, one team that always inserts itself into the discussion when a big name is on the market are the Los Angeles Lakers, and it didn't take long for Trae-to-LA talks to begin amongst the Lakers fanbase.

For his part, NBA insider Jovan Buha of The Athletic added a bit of fuel to that fire with his comments during a live stream (via Silver Screen & Roll).

“(The Lakers) are going third star hunting this off-season and we’ll see how that affects the DLO situation,” said Buha. “You probably have to give up Austin in almost any third-star trade. Now who’s available? The one name I continually hear is Trae Young. He’s been to Laker playoff games before, he’s a Clutch Sports client. That’s probably the most realistic one right now.”

Now, yet another NBA insider is adding some more context to these discussions.

“So, to me, the Hawks thing is interesting because it’s only recently there have been legitimate — whatever, let me think how I wanna phrase this — rumblings about the possibility of Trae Young actually being traded,” said Tim McMahon of ESPN (per Jesse Cinquini of Lakers Daily). “Only recently has that been something that you would even think would be a consideration for the Hawks.”

What could the Lakers offer the Hawks?

The most obvious first name for any trade the Lakers might swing this offseason is that of guard Austin Reaves, who has emerged as a starting-caliber player in the NBA after (willingly) going undrafted back in 2021. Although Reaves is actually a few months older than Young, he's still largely viewed as a younger prospect in league circles who still has room to improve on what has already been an impressive stint with Los Angeles.

Of course, then there are draft picks, several of which the Lakers are not currently able to offer other teams but will be able to by the time the summer rolls around due to league rules.

Meanwhile, the Hawks are at somewhat of a crossroads moment in their franchise. The team has gone steadily downhill since their miraculous run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals back in 2021. And although Young continues to be one of the league's premier offensive engines, team owner Tony Ressler's unwillingness to dip into the luxury tax has left Atlanta with a less-than-compatible roster around Young, especially considering the polarizing star's well-documented limitations.

In any case, first both the Lakers and Hawks will hope to embark on playoff runs this coming spring, which will likely begin for both organizations in the dreaded Play-In round if things continue at their current rate.