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NBA Rumors: Lakers Frontrunners for Hawks’ Dejounte Murray

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) on the court prior to the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at State Farm Arena.

With the recent trades of notable players such as RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, OG Anunoby, Bruce Brown, Pascal Siakam, and Terry Rozier, teams are swinging for fences prior to the 2023-24 trade deadline. This includes the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been tied to several backcourt trade targets this winter.

Recently, Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones and Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton were singled out as players that L.A. might like to get their hands on. Prior to being traded to the Miami Heat, Rozier was on their supposed shortlist of trade targets himself. Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, as well as Bulls teammates DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, can lay claim to that mantle as well.

However, the player that the Lakers appear most likely to trade for is Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. To that point, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports that it feels like the Lakers “have separated themselves” from the pack in their efforts to acquire him.

Dejounte Murray May Be a Laker

Already the two sides appear to have been engaged in extensive trade talks surrounding Murray. Murray, a one-time All-Star, fits their desire for a backcourt starter with speed and athleticism. Furthermore, Murray notably shares an agent with Lakers megastar LeBron James in Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

The Lakers’ Hold Up

Aside from his on-court production and physical attributes, Dejounte Murray’s maturity and self-assuredness would seem to fit in well with the Los Angeles Lakers locker room. Compare his intangibles to D’Angelo Russell, who took to a podcast to air out his frustrations with his role midseason, or the consistently sullen Rui Hachimura. The confidence and headiness that Murray embodies are what’s needed during playoff runs.

With that said, unless the Hawks reverse course and decide they want to have Russell suit up for Atlanta, a third team likely needs to be included to re-route D-Lo. That is unless the Lakers stop being so resistant to trading fan favorite Austin Reaves. Reaves is a try-hard player with a solid level of on-ball talent that broke out during the 2023 NBA Playoffs and in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. However, he’s having a down season after breaking out for L.A., both as a shooter and defender.

ESPN senior insider Adrian Wojnarowski also touched on the topic recently, saying this on The Woj Pod:

“Dejounte Murray had a great week, last week had a couple of game winners. You know, they’ve talked with the Lakers. They’ve exchanged the idea on some concepts. There’s nothing there yet. Certainly, some other places, some other teams, with interest in Murray, but Atlanta wants to get value back. And they gave up a lot to San Antonio: three first round picks, and they’re not going to get that back in this trade.”

Speculating on the Future

The Atlanta Hawks may be about to trade Dejounte Murray. As Adrian Wojnarowski notes, they’re unlikely to receive the same trade value that they gave up getting him. Nonetheless, if they do make such a trade, there’s no doubt that they need a starting-caliber backcourt mate in return. With that being said, the ultimate question could be what team wants D’Angelo Russell and for what price.

Looking around the NBA, the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors come to mind as possibilities. With Russell able to play either backcourt spot, he could play beside prized Jazz rookie Keyonte George. He could also start beside Raptors guard Immanuel Quickley, allowing Quickley to shift over to a familiar off-guard role. Keep in mind that the Lakers are rumored to have interest in reuniting with current Raptors guard Dennis Schroder.

Subsequently, the players that the Hawks may target are Gary Trent Jr and Collin Sexton. Trent, whose contract expires in the 2024 offseason, provides Atlanta with a 3-and-D wing. The high-octane Sexton, an Atlanta native, is an impressive slasher and aggressive defender.

Both would be a more natural fit beside Trae Young than Murray.

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