In January, D’Angelo Russell’s stellar performance has put the Los Angeles Lakers in a challenging position in the trade market. Despite the team’s interest in Dejounte Murray, an All-Star guard, the potential trade is facing uncertainty.
Murray brings exceptional defensive skills, playmaking abilities, scoring prowess, and a clutch factor, evident from his recent game-winners within three days. The connection between the Lakers and Murray has been in talks for 2-3 weeks, but uncertainties have arisen from both sides.
For the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell’s sudden outstanding performance in January complicates matters. Over the last five games, he averaged 27.6 points with nearly 7 assists per game, shooting over 55% from beyond the arc, a significant improvement from his season averages. Russell has become a key player in discussions to trade for Dejounte Murray, along with a potential draft pick. However, Russell’s current form has prompted the team’s leadership to reconsider the situation.
On the other hand, the Atlanta Hawks, Murray’s current team, is reluctant to acquire D’Angelo Russell due to his position overlapping with Trae Young, the team’s star player. This complication has forced the Lakers to seek a third-party partner to facilitate the trade.
According to transfer expert Marc Stein, negotiations between the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks have stalled. Stein mentioned, “This is the time when teams are more likely to negotiate as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches, but progress on the Dejounte Murray trade seems to be at a standstill.”
Experts suggest that from a defensive and playmaking perspective, Dejounte Murray would be an upgrade over D’Angelo Russell for the Lakers. However, the challenge of including a first-round pick and finding a third partner to take Russell is proving to be difficult for the Lakers, diminishing their enthusiasm for the Murray trade compared to a few weeks ago.
If the Lakers decide to abandon the pursuit of Dejounte Murray, they may redirect their focus toward other targets, potentially a reliable bench player or a three-and-D player proficient in defense and three-point shooting.
The NBA Trade Deadline for the 2023-24 season is set for 12:00 PM on February 9th (Vietnam time). The Lakers may continue exploring the market to find suitable additions before the trade deadline closes