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Lakers Target Murray and Jones in Major NBA Trade Deal

The LA Lakers are gearing up for a major trade, eyeing Dejounte Murray and Tyus Jones to strengthen their squad for the NBA championship. Get the latest insights on this potential blockbuster trade.

Key Takeaways
  • The LA Lakers are pursuing Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks, aiming to pair him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
  • A potential three-team trade could also involve the Washington Wizards, who are considering moving Tyus Jones and taking on contracts for future draft picks.
  • The Lakers’ proposed lineup changes and trade grades suggest a significant impact on their championship aspirations.

Lakers Targeting Dejounte Murray in a Potential Three-Team Trade

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly actively pursuing a major trade deal before the NBA trade deadline. Their primary target is Dejounte Murray, who is from the Atlanta Hawks. According to Hoopshype.com, Murray has emerged as the Lakers’ key target before the NBA trade deadline on February 8, 2024. The team aims to strengthen their roster by pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, thereby increasing their chances of clinching the NBA championship by June 2024. 

Miguel Scotto of Hoopshype.com noted, “Dejounte Murray is their priority right now. To me, he’d be the most likely trade outcome right now if I was handicapping the odds.“​

Wizards’ Role and Potential Involvement of a Fourth Team

The Washington Wizards are considering moving Tyus Jones and are open to taking on contracts and future draft picks. There’s a possibility that a fourth team might be involved to facilitate Murray’s trade to the Lakers. Washington’s willingness to use their trade exceptions and roster space for future draft picks is pivotal in this scenario.

Scotto added, “There’s a willingness from Washington to use trade exceptions and use their roster to take on contracts for future draft picks.”

Lakers’ Strategy to Acquire Murray and Jones

To acquire Dejounte Murray and Tyus Jones, the Lakers must manage around $32.7 million in salaries. This could involve moving D’Angelo Russell’s $17.3 million and Rui Hachimura’s $15.7 million contracts. The Wizards might need to include future picks, and the Lakers could potentially give up Max Christie’s expiring $1.7 million contract. If this trade materializes, Russell and Hachimura might move to Atlanta, joining Trae Young and Clint Capela, while Christie and the draft picks involved could go to the Wizards looking to rebuild​​.

Impact on Lakers’ Roster and Season Performance

This trade would significantly bolster the Lakers’ guard rotation, adding depth and experience. Dejounte Murray has an impressive track record, averaging 21.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in the current season. Tyus Jones also brings strong stats to the table, with an average of 12.6 points, 6.0 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Lakers’ Hesitation and LeBron’s Preference

The Lakers have shown some hesitation in dealing with their 2029 first-round pick for Dejounte Murray. LeBron James has hinted at a preference for Darvin Ham’s lineup, which includes a standard opening and closing five. The Lakers have used 13 different starting lineups this season, leading to discontinuity and a record of 24-23, barely qualifying for the play-in tournament.

Trade Grades for the Involved Teams

  • Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers receive an ‘A’ grade for this potential trade. Despite concerns about how Murray may fit next to LeBron James, acquiring a player of Murray’s caliber is seen as a positive move for the team.
  • Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks are graded ‘C-.’ They are looking to offload contracts and acquire picks but face challenges balancing these objectives.
  • Washington Wizards: The Wizards get a ‘B+’ grade. The trade allows them to offload expendable assets, take on short-term salaries, and gain valuable draft picks and a recent first-round pick.

This potential trade scenario reflects the dynamic nature of the NBA, with teams like the Lakers continually striving to build championship-contending squads through strategic acquisitions and trades.