Latest NBA Buzz: Lakers Eye Dejounte Murray as Top Target, Markkanen off the Table, Plus Key Conditions”


With the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline approaching, the rumor mill continues to heat up.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to Atlanta Hawks All-Star combo guard Dejounte Murray for what feels like forever.

The two sides nearly agreed on a deal that would’ve sent Murray to Los Angeles roughly two weeks ago before talks stalled, according to Jovan Buha, who covers the Lakers for The Athletic (subscription required). 

However, Buha indicates that acquiring Murray ahead of the deadline is still the “top priority” for the Lakers.

The inclusion of Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has been arguably the most recent roadblock in negotiations between Los Angeles and the Hawks, per Buha. However, Atlanta hasn’t shown much interest in taking on Russell’s contract as they look to shed salary from their payroll for 2024-25.

The Lakers and Hawks need to find a third team to acquire Russell as part of the deal and help facilitate a trade. Alternatively, Los Angeles could send Austin Reaves to the Hawks for Murray, but they have shown a continued reluctance to trade him.

Buha suggests that “the only realistic way for the Lakers to acquire Murray would involve them sending out Russell.”

Under contract for at least the next three seasons with a player option for the 2027-28 campaign, Murray is owed roughly $28.5 million per year until then, a relatively reasonable number given his status as one of the better guards in the NBA.

Through 45 games this season, Murray is averaging a career-high in points per game (21.4) while shooting a career-best 46.9 percent from the floor and 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, his second-highest clip as a pro. He is also impacting the game in other areas beyond scoring, averaging 5.1 assists, five rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.

With 39-year-old LeBron James still playing at an All-Star starter level, the Lakers may feel a sense of urgency to contend for a title – their ongoing pursuit of Murray is the most recent indication.

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