May 24, 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers may need to include Austin Reaves in a potential deal to acquire Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks. This speculation arises from insights shared by Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, who learned about the Hawks’ asking price for Murray during their trade discussions with another team. In a previous interaction with the New York Knicks, the Hawks reportedly sought Immanuel Quickley and a first-round pick for Murray.

The Hawks aim to recoup a value close to their substantial investment in Murray, made a season and a half ago by their previous front office. In that deal with the San Antonio Spurs, the Hawks gave up three first-round picks, including two unprotected ones, and an unprotected pick swap. The Spurs, having an interest in reuniting with their former All-Star guard, are also in the mix.

Dejounte Murray | Atlanta Hawks | NBA.com

To meet the potential cost of acquiring Murray, which could involve a first-round pick and a young win-now player, the Lakers may have to consider including Reaves in the trade. As of now, there have been no reported discussions about trading Reaves. According to Chris Haynes of TNT/Bleacher Report, the Lakers are looking to enhance their offensive pace and are interested in a point-of-attack defender, a role that Murray could fill effectively.

Can Lakers Expand Dejounte Murray Trade if Austin Reaves Is Included?

An NBA executive presented an expanded trade concept to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, suggesting a larger deal involving not only Dejounte Murray but also Bogdan Bogdanovich if the Hawks insist on acquiring Austin Reaves in the potential trade.

Lowe shared the executive’s proposal on “NBA Today” on January 12, stating, “I had an NBA executive from another team spitball with me yesterday, could the Lakers, if Reaves is involved, construct a bigger deal where they get Dejounte Murray and Bogdan Bogdanovich, the sharpshooter they so badly need? Now that’s got to include Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, more draft compensation, and Jalen Hood-Schifino.”

However, executing such a complex trade is challenging. Lowe pointed out the complications, particularly with the Lakers already exceeding the tax threshold and being near the hard cap, as highlighted by Bobby Marks. Adding more players to the deal makes it increasingly difficult to structure. Despite the potential benefits of acquiring a player of Dejounte Murray’s caliber, the intricate nature of such deals poses significant challenges, and finding a mutually agreeable solution for all parties involved becomes a tough task.

Alternative Austin Reaves Trade

In the scenario where the Hawks insist on a straight swap of Austin Reaves for Dejounte Murray without additional compensation, NBA front office insider Bobby Marks has proposed an alternative trade option for the Lakers, suggesting a potential deal involving Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan.

Marks stated, “If I’m the Lakers, I’d see about Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan, but you might have to give up Austin Reaves in that type of deal. DeRozan could become a free agent, and Caruso’s got one of the better contracts.” This trade could provide the Lakers with a valuable third scoring option in DeRozan, while Caruso’s return might address the team’s perimeter defensive challenges.

However, Marks also noted that the Bulls have not signaled any indication that Caruso is available, suggesting that pursuing this alternative trade option could face potential obstacles if Chicago is not open to parting ways with Caruso.

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