Dejounte Murray Open to Trade to Lakers’ Old Rival

Dejounte Murray, Lakers

Getty Dejounte Murray #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after hitting a three-point basket.

The Los Angeles Lakers might lose their trade target Dejounte Murray to their Western Conference old rivals San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs have registered interest in a reunion with Murray, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Murray would welcome a reunion if the Atlanta Hawks trade him back to San Antonio.

“As far as the business, I’m gonna stay professional and be a good teammate,” Murray told TNT’s Dennis Scott after the Hawks’ win over the Spurs on January 15. “Pop (Gregg Popovich) is like a father figure to me, I would welcome it. But right now, I’m a Hawk. I’m gonna stay professional, play the right way.”

The Spurs traded Murray away in exchange for three first-round picks, two of them unprotected, and a pick swap from the Hawks two summers ago. San Antonio is searching for a point guard to run with their top pick Victor Wembanyama.

Aside from the Spurs, the Lakers are also competing against the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons in the Murray sweepstakes, per Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.

The Hawks are looking for the best possible deal they could get for Murray.

The Athletic’s John Hollinger posited “There’s little chance they get anything close to what they gave up to acquire him.”

But Atlanta’s new front office helmed by rookie general manager Landry Fields, a former Knicks player, would also be looking at attaching unwanted salaries in a potential Murray deal.

“Part of the appeal of trading Murray just months after he agreed to a four-year, $114 million extension is that his contract could be the bait to stuff [Clint] Capela or especially [De’Andre] Hunter into a deal,” Hollinger wrote.

The Spurs have a deep draft capital, young players and expiring deals to entice the Hawks.

Darvin Ham Believes They Have More Than Enough to Contend

Lakers coach Darvin Ham would welcome a trade to upgrade the roster, but if they are unable to pull off a deal, he believes their current roster, when healthy, is more than enough.

“People talk about trades and this and that. No one’s sugarcoating anything. You have an opportunity to get better, you’re going take advantage of it,” Ham told reporters after Lakers beat the West’s no. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder for the second straight time this season. “But that said, what we have in that locker room, we just need to buckle down, focus, take care of the details. We have more than enough in that locker room to make some things happen.”

Six Lakers players scored in double figures in a well-balanced offense that lifted them to a 112-105 win over the Thunder on January 15.

Lakers Want to Keep 2 Key Players

In any in-season trade, the Lakers prefer to keep two of their key players outside their top stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“The Lakers want to keep [Austin] Reaves and [Rui] Hachimura,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus wrote on January 16.

After a slow start to the season following his FIBA World Cup stint with Team USA, Reaves has rounded up to form. Since their In-Season Tournament title run, Reaves is averaging 17.1 points, 5.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 60% over his last 19 games.

On the other hand, Hachimura has been solid since his return from an assortment of injuries (nose surgery and concussion). Over his last two games, Hachimura averaged 14.5 points on 55% shooting, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 19.5 minutes off the bench.


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