After an early playoff exit this season, the Los Angeles Lakers will likely be aggressive this offseason. The roster looked really strong heading into the season but ended up having some major issues. The team really needs a dependable third scorer who can create his own shot when LeBron James and Anthony Davis aren’t on the court.
Names like Kemba Walker and DeMar DeRozan have been mentioned but there could be a surprising name that joins the list of possible Lakers targets. During Tuesday’s NBA Finals matchup between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray sent out a tweet taking note of how well the Suns were playing. Somebody commented that he’ll “embrace the moment when he join the lakers this summer.” Murray liked the reply.
Many saw his decision to like the reply as an admission that he’d like to join the Lakers in the near future. Interestingly enough, he unliked the comment so he obviously saw that people took note. It could mean nothing but it’s certainly interesting.
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Murray Could Be Strong Fit With Lakers
Murray is almost exactly what the Lakers need. He’s a point guard who scored 21.2 points a game this season and made 40.8% of his 3-point attempts. He’s also a really strong defender. Prior to tearing his ACL, Murray was among the favorites to win Defensive Player of the Year this season.
He’d be a perfect fit for what the Lakers like to do. He’s also played well with one superstar big man in Nikola Jokic so he shouldn’t have a problem playing with Davis. If he requests a trade specifically to Los Angeles, the Lakers should do what they can to land him.
A Murray Trade Is Highly Unlikely to Happen
As exciting as it is to speculate about a possible Murray trade to Los Angeles, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. He’s coming off a brutal injury so there will be concern about his recovery. Also, the Nuggets have no incentive to trade their second-best player to a conference rival.
Murray has four years remaining on the contract extension he signed back in 2019. He can’t be a free agent until 2025. Considering Denver has a really solid team, there’s no reason to believe he’s going to force his way out. Murray is from Kitchener, Canada so there’s no connection to Los Angeles. The Nuggets have the NBA’s MVP in Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. is an emerging star. If Murray gets healthy and continues to improve, the team could be title threats for years to come. It’s a solid situation for Murray to be as he’s already getting paid max money. It’s hard to imagine he’s already trying to force his way out unless there’s behind the scenes drama that the public isn’t privy to.
Also, the Lakers don’t have much to offer Denver in a trade. A package surrounding Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope won’t be that interesting to them. If Dennis Schroder wants to go to Denver and they think he could be a difference-maker and the two sides work out a sign-and-trade involving Murray, perhaps a deal can happen. As of right now, that seems like a pipedream.