The Lakers are smart because they avoid a transfer of Trae Young from the Hawks despite NBA rumors

The Los Angeles Lakers have enough transfer capital to sign an NBA star.

However, they only get one chance and so they need to make sure that if they ever spend any money at all, they do so on the right player.

Trae Young, lead guard of the Atlanta Hawks, is not that player – even though he is a three-time All-Star and regularly ranks among the best players at that position in the Association.

Fortunately, the Lakers seem to have realized this. They “have shown little interest in Young recently,” reported ESPN's Zach Lowe. The writer added that things “could change if the price drops in LA's favor,” but who knows when (or if) that might happen, or how far the Lakers would have to lower the price to rekindle their interest.

A bargain for Young could have its advantages, but on the other hand, LA might be better off abandoning the idea altogether.

Granted, there are certain boxes he could check. The Lakers could use additional playmakers, and he has averaged double-digit assists in consecutive seasons. A supporting scorer would be helpful alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Young has scored over 25 points in each of the last five seasons.

And while his three-point percentage is rather disappointing (career: 35.5%), his shooting frequency (7.3 attempts per game) could help boost an offense that is expected to place more emphasis on three-point shots under new coach JJ Redick.

So why isn't Young the solution for LA? Well, there are several reasons.

First, to maximize his impact, the Lakers would have to put the ball in his hands for the majority of his playing time. That's not as beneficial as his scoring categories suggest. From an offensive specialist, you'd expect better efficiency (he shot 43 percent overall last season) and fewer turnovers (4.2 per game in his career).

His value tends extremely towards offensive (We will deal with his defense shortly), but his presence doesn't guarantee his team offensive success. The Hawks were 12th in offensive efficiency last season, according to And before anyone points the finger at Young's injuries or supporting cast, Atlanta's efficiency during his playing time was barely better (116.6 points per 100 possessions, would have ranked 11th).

His talent is electrifying, but his impact can be unpredictable. Because his value is so closely tied to his play on the ball – a big reason why the partnership with Dejounte Murray never worked – his off nights torpedo his team.

His defense, meanwhile, is terrible. His defensive plus/minus consistently lands deep in the red zone. The estimated defensive plus/minus metric placed him in the 22nd percentile last season, according to Dunks & Threes.

He has a tendency to gamble at times and his effort leaves a lot to be desired. But even if he can get those issues under control, as a 6'1″ and 165-pound player in this literally larger-than-life league, he will always face certain physical disadvantages.

It's hard to win with that archetype. The Hawks tried for six years, and although they surprisingly made the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, that was all of their postseason success during his tenure.

It's just difficult to build a team around him, let alone fit into an established ecosystem like the Lakers'. He wouldn't be first or second in the Purple and Gold's pecking order, meaning he'll have to find his place – by playing differently than he has at any other point in his career.

Do the Lakers really want to bet on him doing that? They don't have enough trade capital to find a new player if something goes wrong, and the payroll would only become more difficult to manage with his colossal contract.

The idea of ​​signing Young may sound promising in theory, and there are ways he could help, but a quick look at the pros and cons quickly shows that this is not the right move for the Lakers.