With the Los Angeles Lakers struggling since winning the NBA In-Season Tournament, there’s plenty of motivation to get some sort of deal done before the NBA trade deadline.
The Lakers are reportedly in the market for another guard with speed and quickness and there are a couple of options that fit the bill. As of recently, there’s been more steam picking up with Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray, who appears to be on his way out with the team underwhelming.
Murray is a logical target for Los Angeles because he can create his own shot and play solid defense when engaged. While a trade offer hasn’t been reported, the Lakers will reportedly begin more serious discourse with the Hawks soon.
However, any iteration of a deal likely won’t include Austin Reaves as Los Angeles wants to keep the former undrafted free agent, via Dan Woike of L.A. Times:
“Murray is a player who definitely has the Lakers’ interest, and the Hawks certainly would ask for Austin Reaves initially in those talks. The Lakers, though, have shown no interest in trading Reaves despite some defensive regression this season, and even if they did flip him for Murray, there’s real skepticism that it would “move the needle” — a phrase you hear a lot when you talk to people about the Lakers and their deadline plans.
“If the cost to get Murray is a first-round pick and a win-now young player (the Raptors elected for two of those players in lieu of a first-round pick in their trade of OG Anunoby to the Knicks), the Lakers can’t really meet it without Reaves. Sources say there have been no discussions about trading Reaves.”
Reaves is on a team-friendly contract while Murray’s extension is set to kick in next season, so the Lakers must be concerned with the salary cap ramifications of such a deal. Also, L.A. would need to send out more salary with Reaves to get a trade done, so it’s a tough path to get it across the finish line.
Things can change, especially if the Lakers continue to lose, but for now it’s fair to expect the team to hold onto Reaves.
D’Angelo Russell not viewed as valuable trade chip for Lakers
Outside of Reaves, the Lakers don’t have too assets they can include in a deal. D’Angelo Russell is on a modest two-year deal, but he is apparently not considered a valuable trade chip.
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