The Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in conversations around the league as the 2024 NBA trade deadline approaches. L.A. has until Feb. 8 to figure out if they want to press ahead with what they have or make a change to their personnel. If they do make a change, it seems two names — Toronto Raptors guard Bruce Brown and Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray — are at the top of the list.
The Lakers have been pursuing Murray for several weeks now, as the Hawks have found themselves middling once again and are looking ahead at a daunting four-year extension for Murray. L.A. is hoping to take advantage of Atlanta’s unwillingness to pay all that money for a team that can’t seem to get out of the first round.
Brown, on the other hand, was heavily on the Lakers’ radar in the offseason, but the Indiana Pacers made him an offer beyond what the Lakers could pay. Then, they traded him to the Raptors for Pascal Siakam, and the Lakers quickly saw an opportunity.
And so, unsurprisingly, the Lakers reportedly are laser-focused on Brown and Murray as their trade deadline targets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
“The Lakers, I’m told, are continuing to monitor two players. I think the two guys at the forefront of their targets list going into the trade deadline, Dejounte Murray of Atlanta, and Bruce Brown Jr. of Toronto. Those are two guys I think they continue to monitor. I expect those conversations to continue as the next week, week-and-a-half, two weeks go on.”
Brown and Murray are both intriguing options that would help the Lakers if they figure out a way to make a deal. Of the two, it seems Murray might take less to acquire than Brown, as the Raptors have a reportedly high asking price. But the Lakers are certainly doing their due diligence to try and improve the team right now.
The Lakers are 22-22 and four games out of the No. 6 seed to avoid a spot in the Play-In Tournament. And unlike last season, they won’t completely overhaul their roster at the deadline. So even if they land one of these two players, they need to make strides largely with who they already have in-house.
Dejounte Murray to Lakers has very real legs
Differentiating between real rumors and speculation is one of the hardest parts of trade deadline season. But there is enough smoke out there to have it confirmed that Murray to the Lakers is a very real possibility, and that it’s a rumor that has legs.
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