At one point, the Lakers and Hawks seemed destined to complete a deal for Dejounte Murray. Talks were ongoing, D’Angelo Russell was struggling and Murray was a notable upgrade.
A lot has changed since then. Russell very much stopped struggling, the talks are no longer ongoing and, based on D’Lo’s recent play, Murray is not as clear-cut of an upgrade now.
Now, as a result, it seems more and more unlikely that a deal is going to be reached between the two sides. All the signals from multiple reports on Tuesday indicate the talks have stopped and there is no guarantee they pick back up over the final 24 hours before the deadline.
The most outright report of that came from longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein in his latest Substack newsletter as he reiterated that the two sides are not talking and don’t appear set to restart those discussions.
“I reported here on Jan. 28 that the Lakers’ Murray conversations with the Hawks had faded considerably in intensity.
Little has changed on that specific front in the week-plus since then as D’Angelo Russell has continued to play his best basketball as a Laker in the wake of the teams’ most advanced talks on a Murray trade last month.
Can the looming arrival of the actual trade deadline re-spark something? That’s obviously Atlanta’s hope.”
Along those same lines, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on his latest episode of the Hoop Collective podcast much of the same thing: the talks had died down and while they could restart at any point, nothing suggested they would right now.
“I think the Lakers-Hawks talks have been...pretty cold. That does not mean they can not restart quickly but I don’t think that was something that was, at least the 24, 48 hours, something that I heard much about.”
The two sides have talked enough by now that both are aware of the sticking points and the lines they’ve drawn in the sand.
All it takes is one of those sides deciding they’ll step across their line to reignite those discussions. But with the Lakers finding much more success since these talks were at their most serious, it’s hard to imagine them being the one to do that.
Likewise, with there being no urgency to trade Murray, who hasn’t even begun his freshly signed extension, there’s no pressure on them to make a deal either. On top of that, it may not even be a universally held opinion.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, one big backer of the Hawks retaining is head coach Quin Snyder.
“As Marc Stein reported recently, and which was confirmed by a league source to The Athletic, second-year Hawks coach Quin Snyder is known to be advocating for the Hawks to hold onto Murray. That sort of prominent voice is certainly enough to split the room, so to speak, when a particular trade is being analyzed.”
Add all of it up and it seems really unlikely that Murray is going to be a Laker. All of that could change at the drop of a hat, but neither the Lakers nor Hawks seem to even be holding a hat as things stand.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.