Three NBA stars the Lakers can use to entice LeBron James into staying in LA

Hunter Haas
Lakers are reportedly targeting three NBA superstars to keep LeBron James in LA

The Los Angeles Lakers were linked to several stars leading up to the NBA’s February 8 trade deadline.

However, rather than going all in, the ninth-seeded Lakers stuck with the current batch of talent and will gear up for a potential blockbuster trade in the offseason.

According to reports, LeBron James will not be available for trade, as a high-ranking official said the preference is for James to retire as a Laker. The long-time veteran has a player option, but the franchise expects him to return.

James has never been shy about exerting pressure on the higher-ups. During previous stops with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, the 20-time All-Star made his presence felt in terms of roster moves.

Another wrinkle in James’ future is his eldest son, Bronny. The USC standout could declare for the upcoming NBA Draft. According to The Athletic, teams around the league have already begun draft preparation for Bronny, hoping to land his father in free agency.

But the Lakers, who are willing to add Bronny in the offseason, want to make an even bigger splash to keep their franchise centerpiece happy. In the report, three names in particular take center stage.

The Lakers are targeting superstars to pair with LeBron James

Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, and Kyrie Irving were mentioned in the report, as a high-ranking official believes the Lakers will use their entire stock of draft picks to target one of the three.

For a player of that caliber, Los Angeles would likely need to include Austin Reaves in the deal. The Lakers also have as many as three first-round picks, four pick swaps, and a slew of second-round choices to dangle in trade talks.

Mitchell is averaging a career-high in points in 2023-2024 (28.4) and has the Cleveland Cavaliers playing dominant ball the past month.

However, trade rumors did surface earlier in the year, and there’s a chance they will reignite this summer, according to the report.

Of course, there are obvious ties between James and Irving, as the two won a championship together in Cleveland. Los Angeles targeted the star point guard the last time he was available, so prior interest is there.

Young, in particular, is a Klutch Sports member and has been a dream target for the Lakers since 2022 after guiding Atlanta Hawks to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals.

The thought of Young and Anthony Davis leading the post-LeBron era excites the Lakers brass, based on the report.

It’s clear that general manager Rob Pelinka has a massive, league-altering move in mind — and the resources to pull it off. But can he find a suitor and keep LeBron James happy in Hollywood?

Related Topics

About The Author

Hunter Haas is the Senior Sports Writer at Dexerto. Over the last two years he has worked as a writer and editor for FanSided at NFLMocks. He also served as an editor at The Raider Ramble and The Blue Stable. Hunter is an expert in all things MMA, WWE, and NFL. You can email him here: