Report: Lakers could circle back on Dejounte Murray

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Jordan Godfree-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly could circle back on Dejounte Murray as they look to improve their roster for the 2024-25 NBA season.

The 27-year-old Atlanta Hawks star reportedly was a target of the Lakers in the weeks leading up to the 2024 NBA trade deadline in early February. A deal could not be competed, and the Hawks held onto Murray for the remainder of the season.

With J.J. Redick finally hired to give the Lakers their new head coach, the organization can now turn its full focus to improving the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Though James holds a player option in his contract and can become a free agent, the Lakers reportedly have been operating as if he will be back. Now that James is 39 years old and going to enter his 22nd NBA season, the window to win his fifth NBA championship may be closing and adding a talented player such as Murray could help in the quest.

A former first-round pick (No. 29 overall) in the 2016 NBA Draft, Murray averaged a career-high 22.5 points last season for the Hawks, his second with Atlanta after opening his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers may have an opening in their backcourt if D’Angelo Russell decides not to exercise his own player option and becomes a free agent. Of course, the sides could come to an agreement on a new contract that would keep him in Los Angeles.

In addition, Austin Reaves’ agent is bullish on what the hire of Redick can mean for the 26-year-old, who averaged a career-high 15.9 points while appearing in all 82 regular season games last season.

Acquiring Murray might not be the only high-profile addition the Lakers make this summer. They reportedly are widely expected to select guard Bronny James in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft later this month. They also reportedly may be interested in obtaining a top-five pick.

After making the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers fell well short of that last season. Adding a former All-Star player like Murray could go a long way in helping them reach those heights again and perhaps even return to the NBA Finals from the highly competitive Western Conference.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.