If you follow the NBA, you’ve heard the talk.
It says the Los Angeles Lakers want to trade for Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. Tuesday night, the teams square off in Atlanta. The Lakers (24-24) have been struggling. Murray and the Hawks (19-27) have been worse. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Be there.
Now, for a little background, the Lakers play for championships. When you have LeBron James on your team, it’s title-or-bust. Of course, the Lakers have been that way since long before James and will be that way long after he’s gone. It’s just the LA way.
Meanwhile, we’re not really sure what the Hawks play for. This year, it’s likely the playoffs. Quin Snyder is a fine coach, but the Hawks haven’t been any better with him than they were with former coach Nate McMillan, who led them to the Eastern Conference finals in 2021.
The Hawks landed Murray in a trade with the Spurs in June 2022. They assumed teaming him with star guard Trae Young would really take them places. But it’s resulted in more of the same. And the Hawks aren’t about to trade Young. In fact, he’s likely the only completely untouchable on the roster. That’s the way it should be, as Young is the type of talent around which you try to build.
Anyway, back to the Lakers. They are again searching for something, anything, to put them back into contention. Their ears very clearly perked up when they heard Murray was available. One report said they offered guard D’Angelo Russell, forward Jalen Hood-Schifino, and draft picks for Murray, only to be shot down.
The Hawks, it was said, would need to find a third team for Russell to even consider such a deal. Now, the sides have paused talks, per multiple reports and as we relayed here.
On top of everything else, Marc Stein of The Stein Line reported that Snyder doesn’t want the team to trade Murray … to anybody. Some are speculating that indeed will be the case, that Murray will remain with Atlanta beyond the deadline.
Murray shares agent Rich Paul with James and fellow Lakers star Anthony Davis, and in today’s NBA, that means something. Paul is respected and has some power. But appears not even he can help broker a deal — or if Murray even wants one — between the Lakers and Hawks.
But for one night, the Lakers can go up against Murray and perhaps they can dream. But reality says, this is a man who won’t be playing for them anytime soon.