As the Los Angeles Lakers are desperately looking for potential roster upgrades ahead of the February 7 trade deadline, their focus seems to be increasingly on Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks. As they look to get a third star around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers clearly identified Murray as their primary trade target.
The latest reporting out of Los Angeles suggested that the Lakers' unwillingness to include Austin Reaves in the deal had stalled the negotiations.
However, both sides are still on the table discussing a potential trade that would send Murray to the Lakers. According to Shams Charania FanDuel TV, the deal would be centered around D'Angelo Russell and draft picks but there is one obstacle preventing the trade's finalization.
Trade Rumors: Hawks Need A Third Team To Take D'Angelo Russell
The package of Russell, a 2029 first-round pick, and a pick swap is more than sufficient value for Dejounte Murray.
Russell is an often criticized member of the Lakers but he is still a very competent point guard, who can pass, shoot, and score, averaging over 16 points and 6 assists per game on good efficiency this season.
The problem is that the Atlanta Hawks don't need Russell. Having Trae Young at the helm of their offense and the defensive deficiencies that the duo would create makes Russell a uniquely bad fit in Atlanta.
That is why the Lakers and the Hawks need a third team to acquire Russell. A team that has a need for a scoring point guard could give Atlanta a player in a position of need as part of a three-team trade.
This seems like the most likely scenario for Los Angeles to acquire Murray for now. Whether the sides will successfully be able to engage a third team in the deal will determine where the All-Star guard ends up.
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