It is officially trade season in the NBA and of the contending teams in the league, the Los Angeles Lakers are poised to be the most active. After a horrible December skid brought the team back down to earth, it is clear that the Lakers need to add reinforcements at the trade deadline.
The Lakers have draft assets to trade along with contracts to make just about any deal work from a financial sense. Now the question becomes how Rob Pelinka will navigate the trade waters and who he ultimately prioritizes on the market.
One surprising name who has entered the conversation is Atlanta's Dejounte Murray. The Murray-Trae Young dynamic simply has not worked in Atlanta and that has put Murray on the Lakers' trade radar.
Trading for Murray straight-up is possible but might be hard to do. Thus, if the Lakers truly are interested, it might take a three-team trade. With all of this in mind, the folks over at Bleacher Report crafted the following three-team trade that would bring Murray to Los Angeles with another all-star going back to Atlanta.
There are a lot of moving parts in this trade. In addition to Murray's ties to the Lakers, Pascal Siakam has also been tied to the Atlanta Hawks. While this checks those boxes, it may not check every box for each team in this trade. Let's dive into the grades, shall we?
Los Angeles Lakers grade: A+
If the Los Angeles Lakers can trade D'Angelo Russell, one first-round pick and contract fodder for Dejounte Murray it would be a massive win. Murray would be far more impactful in Los Angeles than Russell is and would play a winning brand of basketball.
Murray's defense has gotten worse in Atlanta but that is mostly because of the system and the fact that he shares a backcourt with Trae Young. This is a former All-Defensive Team player who is under contract for another four seasons after this season on a cheap deal. It would be an unbridled win for the Lakers.
Atlanta Hawks grade: B-
If the Hawks had it their way, they would probably try and keep Murray in Atlanta to create a big three with Siakam. But if the Murray-Young tandem really is fractured beyond repair then the most sensible thing would be to flip Murray for Siakam.
There are some really big risks in making this move, though. The Hawks would essentially be going all in on contending when the team is not even in a position to make the playoffs. Additionally, Siakam is a free agent after this season and there is no guarantee he will sign a new deal in Atlanta.
There is a world in which the Hawks ship off Murray and a first-round pick and only get Siakam for less than half a season. If they were on the brink of winning a title it would be a no-brainer. But they are not.
Toronto Raptors grade: F
Hate to break it to you but this trade will never happen because of the Toronto Raptors aspect of the trade. This trade is excellent for the Lakers, can be great for the Hawks, and is absolutely horrible for the Raptors.
Siakam's trade value is not going to be as high as Raptors fans think it will be since he is on an expiring deal. That is simply the nature of the business. That being said, Siakam is worth more than a non-needle mover in Russell, a former lottery pick who hasn't done anything in Hunter and a pair of picks that are five years in the future.
There is a far better trade in this trade itself for the Raptors. Why would Toronto even worry about getting the Lakers involved? The Raptors would be much better off if they just got Murray, Hunter and a first-round pick in return for Siakam. Murray and the years left on his extension are worth more than Russell and a future protected pick.
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