NBA Rumors: Lakers risky offseason plan revealed?

Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

With no head coach in place and their best player, LeBron James, likely to hit unrestricted free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers will have a lot of questions to answer this summer. Perhaps their biggest question is whether they can land a third star to add to the core of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

They have been linked to several stars, including Atlanta Hawks guards Dejounte Murray and Trae Young, as well as Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell. However, several reports seem to counter the general wisdom that they will make a big move this summer. With the Lakers apparently unwilling to part with Austin Reaves, they'd have a hard time landing Young, given that his salary for next season is $43 million.

Barring D'Angelo Russell opting into his contract, and them also including Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, and their three tradeable firsts, a trade for Young may not happen. Instead, his teammate Murray, who the Lakers were linked to before the trade deadline, will be much cheaper and probably easier to acquire with Hachimura and Vincent, plus a first. Or a similar package but with all of the tradeable picks to see if they can acquire Mitchell.

Will the Los Angeles Lakers not pursuing a star help or hurt them?

If the Lakers do intend to build out their roster around LeBron and Davis as opposed to trying for a third star, they may be better off in the long term, but the short term may be harder to determine.

The Lakers did make the playoffs last season, and while they got dismantled by their rivals, the Denver Nuggets, they may fair better with a stronger supporting cast. Moreover, avoiding the Nuggets in the first round could get them back to the Western Conference Finals. Without cap space, they will need to continue to mine free agency for cheap value contracts and make use of their first-round pick, which is 17th in this year's draft.

They could also still trade a first but if they aren't looking to land a star, they may focus on smaller deals to address their flaws. That might work out in their favor and keep their options open beyond next season. However, it will depend on the specific moves they make this summer.