NBA Rumors: The Lakers linked to an all-star point guard amid slump

LeBron James
LeBron James / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be busy in the month and a half that precedes the NBA trade deadline, scouring the market for upgrades. With a 16-15 record and being in ninth place, the Lakers should have a sense of urgency when it comes to making moves, including a rumored deal for an all-star. According to Shams Charania, the Lakers are interested in Atlanta Hawk guard DeJounte Murray.

The Lakers have already apparently been shopping point guard D'Angelo Russell, who was just demoted to the bench recently. Given that he is essentially on a big, expiring contract, he would be the most likely player to be moved in a deal for a star, and Murray could potentially be that player.

NBA Rumors: The Los Angeles Lakers have an interest in Dejounte Murray.

Murray and Lakers star LeBron James appear to have a close relationship, with LeBron mentoring a fellow Klutch client, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee a trade between Los Angeles and Atlanta. The Hawks, despite having two all-stars, including Trae Young, who is on a tear, are still six games under 500. and face an uphill battle to make the playoffs. Combine that with their first-round playoff exit and their big payroll, and they may be willing to do a fire sale and trade Murray.

As far as a potential trade is concerned, the Lakers could offer Russell, 2023 first-round pick Jalen Hood-Schifino, a 2028 pick swap, and a 2029 top-3 protected first. That might not be enough if a team such as the New York Knicks or the San Antonio Spurs make an offer, though it would be a competitive one since the Hawks don't control three of their future picks. That would make it hard to rebuild, but they could bank on the Lakers being worse once LeBron and Anthony Davis retire or leave.

For the Lakers, Murray would give them an upgrade on a point guard, and while he's slipped as a defensive player, he is still better than Russell in that regard. He is also a good rebounder for his position, a good pick-and-roll playmaker, and a capable mid-range shooter who can also finish at the rim. That could make him a great fit in Los Angeles.