Lakers reportedly need third team to get Dejounte Murray trade done with Hawks

The 22-22 Lakers need to do something at the trade deadline to spark their bottom 10 offense and bring some consistency to a team that can have impressive nights — beating the Thunder and Clippers in recent weeks — but can't sustain it (see the loss to Brooklyn). Combine that need with the Lakers massive fan base and rumors fly.

One that's not a rumor: The Lakers are interested in Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. The reported offer is D'Angelo Russell (essentially to match salaries), Jalen Hood-Schifino, and the Lakers 2029 first-round pick, and a pick-swap (different versions include other Lakers and Hawks). It makes sense for the Lakers, who would slide Murray into the point guard spot and hope he can return to the All-Star level he played at the position in San Antonio before moving into a backcourt with Trae Young that never meshed.

It doesn't really make sense for the Hawks, however. On Fanduel’s Run It Back show, Shams Charania of The Athletic said the Hawks want a third team in that trade because they don't want Russell.

This shouldn't be seen as a knock on Russell, who has played some of his best basketball in recent weeks (Tyronn Lue was praising him Monday in advance of the Lakers/Clippers game this week). While Russell can catch-and-shoot, he is most dangerous with the ball in his hands — and that's the same issue Murray had meshing with Young. It's a fit question. Also, Russell is owed $18.7 million next season and the Hawks would like the cap space to restructure their roster.

There are a lot of other teams with interest in Murray and the Hawks may believe there is a better trade out there — they want to retool fast around young and a 2029 pick is a long way off (they would have to trade it). However, Marc Stein said in his Monday newsletter, "it is believed that the Los Angeles Lakers, to date, have engaged in the most substantive trade discussions with Atlanta on Murray."

Bringing in a third team makes trades very difficult to pull off, but it's something the Lakers must explore if they want the best player likely to be moved between now and the deadline.

Other Lakers trade rumor notes: Charania reported that the Lakers are interested in several potential scorers and all-around players, including Charlotte's Terry Rozier (although the conventional wisdom is he ends up in Miami) and Bruce Brown. One scorer not getting tied to the Lakers (or anyone else) is Zach LaVine, his market remains uninspiring to the Bulls and the Lakers don't appear to see a fit. Also, teams that ask the Lakers about Austin Reaves are getting shot down, it would take a true needle-moving star-player move to get the Lakers even to consider adding Reaves to a package.