The Los Angeles Lakers now find themselves hovering around .500 following a Christmas Day loss to the rival Boston Celtics. With the team struggling over the past couple weeks, questions have continued to float around about whether the Lakers need to make a trade to turn things around and firmly place themselves amongst the championship contenders.
There have already been a couple names mentioned as possible targets for the Lakers, but one that could be on the block is Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray.
Things have not gone the way the Hawks have expected this season and the fit with Murray and Trae Young just hasn’t clicked, leading some to believe Atlanta could look to move the former All-Star.
And according to NBA Insider Shams Charania of The Athletic on the latest edition of Run It Back on FanDuel TV, Murray is a player to keep an eye on as a target for the Lakers:
“One more player to keep an eye on, I’m told, as a potential target for the Lakers is Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. LaVine is in the second year of a $215 million deal. Dejounte Murray still has four years, $120 million of an extension that kicks in next season, so that’s a little bit better when you think about a reasonable salary to be bringing in when you already have LeBron James and Anthony Davis on your books.
“The Hawks direction, of course it’s in flux. They gave up multiple first round picks, a swap to go get Dejounte Murray a couple summers ago from the Spurs. So when you look at the Lakers’ asset pool, they have one first-round pick they can trade now, or they can wait until draft time and they’ll have three first-round picks to trade. So any deal that the Lakers want to pursue for a star player is gonna most likely have to include the names of guys like Austin Reaves, Max Christie, that’s who teams would want. The Lakers obviously have shown no inclination of moving Austin Reaves, don’t want to move Austin Reaves, but those are the types of players teams will ask for.”
This is the type of player that makes a ton of sense for the Lakers. Murray has shown himself to be a solid scorer and capable playmaker throughout his career. He is also a strong defender and has improved his outside shooting, knocking down a career-high 38.2 percent from 3-point range this season. His contract being much cheaper than someone like LaVine’s is also an appeal.
The question is what it would take to get him. If the Lakers want to make a deal before the trade deadline, with only one first-round pick available to trade, they would likely have to part with someone like Reaves to make the deal worth it for the Hawks. Waiting until the offseason though when L.A. would have more picks available would make it easier for the Lakers to hold on to their young players.
The Lakers are searching for answers within their own roster right now, but as the trade deadline begins to near, they will have to make a decision on whether they are willing to take a huge swing and someone like Murray fits the bill.
Lakers’ Gabe Vincent to undergo left knee surgery
Another reason the Lakers may want to make a move is that one of their big offseason acquisitions, point guard Gabe Vincent, has barely been available. And unfortunately that will continue to be the case moving forward.
Vincent made his return to the Lakers after nearly two months out with a left knee issue, but swelling returned following that game. Recent reports are saying that Vincent will need to undergo surgery on the knee and will be out 6-8 weeks.
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