Rumors have persisted that the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers are close on a blockbuster deal that would send Hawks guard Dejounte Murray to the Lakers but there may be a snag. The Hawks' reported asking price was initially just two first-round picks, a reasonable amount for an above-average starting guard who is 27 years old and locked up for more than 4 years.
However, according to Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, they are now seeking two first-round picks as well as a starter. That appears to be part of the holdup in a potential deal between them and the Lakers.
While the Hawks were rumored to be interested in Austin Reaves, the Lakers have instead offered up D'Angelo Russell, who is starting and playing very well, averaging 27 points per game over the last six games. Despite that, the Hawks are apparently uninterested and want him to be re-routed to a third team in a potential deal.
That is doable, though it would probably require more assets being sent out on the Lakers' part. Actually, they may already have trouble scrounging up two firsts if the Hawks are dead set on that asking price. If so, then the Lakers could and should re-examine their options, with cheaper options available.
The Lakers should take a look at their options before trading for Murray.
The Lakers have also been linked to Washington's Tyus Jones, Utah's Collin Sexton, and Toronto's Bruce Brown. Any of these players could help the Lakers without costing them most of their remaining assets.
Take the Miami Heat for example. They previously targeted Damian Lillard and after they failed to land him, they set their sights on a cheaper replacement. They just acquired former Charlotte Hornet Terry Rozier for the cost of an expiring contract and a protected first-round pick.
Considering that they would have had to give up at least three first-round picks as well as their two most recent first-round selections, including Jaime Jacquez Jr., it's safe to say that they are better off now.
The Lakers find themselves in a similar situation, targeting a high-profile player who will cost an arm and a leg, and they should follow in Miami's footsteps by pursuing cheaper alternatives without sacrificing fit or significant future assets.
All in all, while the Lakers have a long history of making splashy moves, their limited assets may make them think twice about trading for Murray. With other options out there, the Lakers would be wise to look at small moves that would still help improve their roster without forfeiting all of their assets.