The Lakers certainly seem to be focusing heavily on Dejounte Murray, and we learned the degree to which they have reportedly had trade discussions with the Hawks over the last week.
With Zach LaVine moving further into the rearview mirror, the Lakers and Hawks are moving forward with talks surrounding Murray. And, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the two sides have also discussed the framework of a deal.
The Murray buzz is only increasing — and to noisy levels. The Lakers and Hawks have discussed potential frameworks of a deal, including a version late last week that centered on Russell, Hood-Schifino, the 2029 first-round pick and additional draft compensation, according to multiple team and league sources. Talks have since stalled, but are expected to pick back up closer to the deadline.
As another note on these trade talks, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on Thursday that any trade involving Russell would need to include a third team to re-route him.
Any framework for a Murray trade to the Lakers would likely involve guard D’Angelo Russell, league sources told HoopsHype. However, that would be contingent on Russell being flipped to a third team from Atlanta in the process. Russell’s $18.69 million player option for next season and his playing style next to Trae Young isn’t viewed as a fit for the Hawks.
Accepting a trade centered around a package of D’Angelo Russell, Jalen Hood-Schifino and the 2029 first round draft pick is a far cry from the previous report of wanting more than Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura in a trade return.
Like, a really far cry.
But there’s also a reason the trade talks stalled. The Lakers don’t have any other first round picks to offer, so the draft compensation is what it is, effectively, in this trade. Perhaps the hesitation from the Hawks centers around wanting better players in return.
It’s also hard to imagine that other teams couldn’t and wouldn’t beat this trade package. Respectfully, this trade package is pretty average, but leaking this could prompt other teams to get involved after realizing where the price is right now.
That would certainly be bad news for the Lakers because there is a line in the sand they have drawn, which is not including Reaves in trade talks. The more this turns into a bidding war, the more they might have their will tested in that regard and while they reportedly would include him in trade talks, it would likely change the entire dynamic of the negotiations considering what the Lakers want.
For the Hawks, this trade package is going to be there for Murray between now and the Feb. 8 trade deadline, so they’re in no rush. As Buha noted, the talks likely won’t pick up again until closer to the deadline as they field other offers and get a lay of the land.
As a starting point, this is very good for the Lakers. But with no rush right now for the Hawks to make a deal, don’t be surprised if a much better trade offer is what it takes to get a deal done.
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