It’s pretty clear that the Hawks and Lakers have made headway in a Dejounte Murray trade with the slew of reports coming out on Monday the clearest sign of that. That the two sides have negotiations is pretty much a given now, but those discussions have hit a wall that is also pretty clear.
Largely speaking, the message was clear from multiple reports that there are two main things holding up the talks for Murray: draft picks and D’Angelo Russell’s landing spot.
Let’s start with Russell, who is coming off one of his best showings of the season vs. Portland and is in the midst of a strong bounceback month after a poor December. However, that hasn’t changed the veteran guard's trade value, as he has long had a reputation as a streaky scorer.
Because of that and because of what would be a pretty poor fit alongside Trae Young, the Hawks don’t appear to be that interested in Russell as part of a trade package and would need a third team to take him on in order to complete the deal.
“If he’s not going to be your starting point guard somewhere, I think in a lot of these situations, either you’re going to have to give some more draft compensation with D’Angelo Russell or you’re going to have find a third team that’s going to need that to take on his salary and, again, if he’s not going to be your starter. I think that makes it a little more difficult to find a match here on a trade.”
Further to that point, longtime NBA report Marc Stein and Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report discussed the Lakers and Murray on their podcast and outright said that the Hawks do not have interest in Russell.
“Even if the Lakers are prepared to use their last available first round pick in an offer for Dejounte Murray, it’s basically impossible for them to do that deal without including D’Angelo Russell and my sense is the Hawks really aren’t interested in D’Angelo Russell.”
This also brings up the topic of draft compensation. In the same episode of NBA Today, Woj revealed that the Hawks desire to recoup the three firsts and a pick swap they sent out to acquire Murray. Not only can the Lakers not offer that, but nobody in the league will. So, it’s nothing more than a hope and a wish on that front.
And all that leaves us in the spot we are now, where the Lakers are going to either need to find a third team to re-route D’Lo and help facilitate this trade or find some way to conjure up draft picks, which is probably not happening. It’s a staring contest and the question now is which side will blink first.
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