For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers are the most talked-about team in the NBA as the NBA trade deadline approaches. Instead of being saddled with Russell Westbrook and trying to trade him away, though, the Lakers are in the market for something bigger.
The struggling purple and gold may need real juice at the trade deadline and could look to get that from Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. Murray's name first hit the trade block weeks ago and there has been growing momentum for a potential Lakers deal.
Whether or not a Murray trade happens will depend on whether the team can reroute D'Angelo Russell to a third team or if the Lakers budge and trade Austin Reaves. If it does happen, it is hard not to get excited about the two-way potential of putting Murray next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
There is a world in which it doesn't quite work out as planned, though. After all, Murray is another ball-dominant playmaker and that hasn't always meshed well with LeBron. He also has regressed defensively in Atlanta, which brings his true two-way impact into question.
And most of all, if things do start going south in Los Angeles then there is no guarantee that Murray can weather the storm. Murray has a history of clapping back on social media and letting fans get under his skin. With a rabid LA fanbase, that would not play well on the Lakers (warning, NSFW language in the screengrab below).
Dejounte Murray is already proving he can't handle being on the Lakers
There are very high expectations in Los Angeles and let's all be honest with ourselves, the Lakers fanbase can be a tad unforgiving. The higher expectations around a player the quicker fans want to see results and if the ship does not turn around after a potential Murray trade, he would become the one that gets blamed.
Lakers fans have never been shy about sharing their feelings regarding the team and Murray has never been shy about clapping back at fans. Unless things go as smoothly as possible, this dynamic is going to be a disaster.
As good as the potential of Murray is, the last thing the Lakers need is a distraction. If Murray was a bona fide all-star still then the team could overlook that aspect of trading for him. But with how he has been playing, it is worth questioning if he would even be that big of an upgrade over D'Angelo Russell.
Perhaps the Lakers should explore smaller moves and not ship away the team's future assets for a player who might get fed up with the fans and want to leave just like he currently is in Atlanta.