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Nets could be third team for D’Angelo Russell, Lakers in Dejounte Murray trade

The Lakers and Hawks might need a third team to get involved to execute a trade and that team could be the Nets.

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2023-24 Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

It's the worst-kept secret in the NBA that the Lakers and Hawks have engaged in conversation regarding Dejounte Murray. Those conversations haven't resulted in a trade and there are many reasons why.

One of the reasons has been due to Ruseell's current play. Over the past six games, Russell averaged 20 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 38.5% from three. He's been playing his best basketball and the thought is Murray might be only a slight upgrade compared to what Russell already provides.

Another factor is the Lakers are considering keeping their first-round draft picks and potentially looking to make a bigger splash by going after Donovan Mitchell in the summer. If the Lakers stand down and keep their 2029 first-round draft pick, that gives them three picks they can use in a move.

From the Hawks' perspective, they want another team involved to take on Russell. The Lakers might still have qualms with a Russell-Murray deal, but if those are ironed out, a familiar team could emerge as the third team in a deal, according to Sam Amick of The Atheltic.

As our Lakers beat writer, Jovan Buha, detailed here, the Lakers’ trade talks with Atlanta have continued in recent weeks. The holdup, as has been widely reported for quite some time, is the Hawks’ clear disinterest in taking back D’Angelo Russell and the need for a different landing spot for the Lakers guard as a result (Brooklyn is routinely highlighted by league sources as a Russell candidate here).

If Brooklyn can take on Russell, that would certainly make the deal easier to accomplish. The Lakers have already been talking with the Nets regarding Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale, so getting all three teams on a call should be easy.

In an ideal world, perhaps Rob Pelinka can put together a package that gets Murray and those Nets wings together, or the Lakers can choose between those two different paths in the coming days.

With the deadline on Thursday, there's not much time left to either make a move, shed some salary or keep the team the same and run it back. We'll know what they'll do and where that leaves the team's title hopes soon enough.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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