It stands to reason that the Los Angeles Lakers may look to upgrade their roster ahead of the NBA trade deadline in February.
However, any trade that the Lakers try to make for a star will probably have teams asking for players like Austin Reaves and Max Christie, according to NBA insider Shams Charania.
“They have one first-round pick they can trade now, or they could wait until draft time, and they’ll have three first-round picks to trade,” Charania said. “So, any deal that the Lakers wanna pursue for a star player is gonna most likely have to include the names of guys like Austin Reaves, Max Christie — that’s who teams will want. The Lakers obviously have shown no inclination of moving Austin Reaves, don’t wanna move Austin Reaves, but those are the types of players that teams will ask for.”
The Lakers have no interest in trading Reaves, per Charania. However, they lack many other enticing assets, so including Reaves might be necessary in order to get a major deal done.
One player that the Lakers reportedly may be interested in is Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. So far this season, Murray is averaging 20.3 points, 5.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 34.4 minutes per game for Atlanta. He’s shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from deep.
Murray earned an All-Star bid during the 2021-22 season as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. He is known as a strong defender, as evidenced by the fact that he led the league in steals per game in the 2021-22 season and earned an All-Defensive nod in the 2017-18 campaign.
It’s worth noting that the Lakers aren’t the only team that may have interest in the Hawks guard. Some members of the New York Knicks view Murray as an “ideal” trade target, according to Ian Begley of SNY.
“They also have their eyes on bolstering other positions, including the backcourt,” Begley wrote of the Knicks. “Some prominent members of the organization see Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray as an ideal trade target. New York had interest in trading for Murray in the 2022 offseason. At that point, Murray was viewed by some as a great fit with lead guard Jalen Brunson.”
In addition to Murray, Chicago Bulls players Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso have also been mentioned as potential targets for the Lakers.
Over two months into the current campaign, the Lakers sit ninth in the Western Conference postseason picture with a record of 16-15. They won the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament earlier this month, but they’ve struggled since, winning just one of their last six games.
Road games have been especially rough for L.A. so far this season. The Lakers have won just six of the 17 games that they’ve played away from home. Meanwhile, they’ve gone a very respectable 10-4 at home. A goal for the team moving forward should be to try to play as well on the road as it has at home.