The Lakers have been rumored to be a destination for Murray if Atlanta decides to move him by this season’s trade deadline.
“League sources say that there has been little-to-no trade dialogue in recent days between the Hawks and the Lakers when it comes to former All-Star Dejounte Murray,” Stein wrote.
“Trade talks tend to be fluid this time of year and can be easily sparked up again, but one source briefed on the talks termed the idea of Murray landing with the Lakers before the deadline, as of this Sunday, as ‘unrealistic.’
“Among the factors for that: D’Angelo Russell’s strong play this month.”
The Lakers may not need to make a move for a guard since Russell has played so well as of late.
In his last eight games (since returning to the starting lineup), Russell is averaging 27.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The Lakers are 5-3 over that eight-game stretch.
While Murray may be a better defender than Russell – he made an All-Defensive Team in the 2017-18 season – Russell has been playing well enough for the Lakers to consider keeping their core together at the deadline.
This season, Murray is averaging 21.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from 3-point range. He’s currently playing alongside a ball-dominant player in Trae Young, which could help him adjust to playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis if he were traded to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles made a run during the regular season in the 2022-23 campaign after it acquired Russell and a few others at the trade deadline. The team eventually reached the Western Conference Finals in the playoffs.
While adding Murray could give the Lakers an upgrade, it’s also a move that comes with the risk of the now-Hawks guard not meshing with the current roster. With Russell playing well, the Lakers risk messing up their current chemistry if they make a deal.
The Lakers are currently the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference after winning back-to-back games. The team is one game over .500 at 24-23.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Lakers approach the deadline, especially with the team looking like it is starting to turn things around this season.