With the reported interest in Dejounte Murray, we explore what a potential trade deadline deal for the star guard would look like for the Los Angeles Lakers.
If it wasn't clear already, the Los Angeles Lakers got a huge wake-up call on Christmas Day against the Boston Celtics. In what could be viewed as a measuring stick game, the Lakers lost to the Celtics by 11 points. In a game that Anthony Davis went off to drop 40 points, it didn't matter. The Celtics outclassed and outgunned the Lakers.
That means unless the Lakers play a near-perfect game, they are unlikely to have a great chance to compete with the likes of the heavy favorites. Or, they could explore making a big move at the NBA Trade Deadline in search of another difference-making star that could help push the Lakers over the hump in the Western Conference.
On the surface, it seems like an easy decision. However, the difficulty comes in finding the right supporting star that would fit alongside LeBron James and AD. While Zach LaVine has been one of the most common names linked to the Lakers recently, there could be another All-Star guard Los Angeles has their eyes on.
According to a recent report, Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is another player the Lakers could target heading into the trade deadline.
In a vacuum, Murray could be a fit for the Lakers. I suppose you could still question if he's a good enough 3-point shooter next to LeBron and AD but if he passes that test, Murray could be the exact third option that is needed to help take significant pressure off their shoulders.
If the Lakers are willing to go all-in for Murray heading into the trade deadline, which they don't feel comfortable doing so for LaVine at this point, there could be a path.
What could the framework for a Dejounte Murray trade look like for the Los Angeles Lakers?
In a first potential deal, the Lakers could look to build a package around D'Angelo Russell, one of their young players, their only trade-eligible future first-round pick, two second-round picks, and perhaps even trade swaps.
I'm not sure if this offer would be enough for the Hawks to accept but it's one framework that theoretically would work from a financial standpoint. If the Lakers wanted to get more creative, they could with the inclusion of Rui Hachimura instead.
This deal would be built around Hachimura, one of the Lakers' young players, and then the same picks. Perhaps the Lakers could even fetch an additional first-round pick by shopping Russell around the league to potentially add to their offer.
Then, there's the possibility of the Lakers including Austin Reaves in a potential offer. Even though there's been reported hesitance to include Reaves in trade offers, perhaps that stance has changed for the Lakers in recent weeks.
Theoretically, the Lakers could build a much better package around Reaves. A deal could be built around Reaves, Hachimura, Jalen Hood-Schifino, a future first-round pick, two second-round picks, and pick swaps in exchange for Murray and Saddiq Bey.
It remains to be seen how interested the Lakers are in Murray but there could be a fit. Assuming the Hawks are going to explore trading Murray before the trade deadline, you have to consider the Lakers as a potential fit. Los Angeles needs to make a splash move at the trade deadline. Could Murray be their primary target? If so, we know what a potential offer would look like from the Lakers.