REPORT: Best Dejounte Murray trade destinations after Hawks’ NBA Play-In Tournament debacle… “Is that the Lakers?”


The Hawks have to trade Dejounte Murray if they keep Trae Young, right?

Dejounte Murray with question marks around him

The Atlanta Hawks’ season is over. The Chicago Bulls handed them a 131-116 loss on Wednesday in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament. As a result, plenty of questions will ensue regarding the future of the Hawks’ franchise. In particular, whether or not they elect to trade one of Trae Young or Dejounte Murray.

The Hawks missed the playoffs after giving the Boston Celtics a frisky six-game series a year ago. But more damning than that has been how poorly Young and Murray have fit together again this season. The pairing simply has not worked. It’s time to move on. The Hawks nearly did just at the trade deadline, but could not find an offer they were looking for. Perhaps they can trade Murray this summer—maybe even to the Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors.

Los Angeles Lakers

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dribbles the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Ben Sheppard (26) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

No team was hotter on the Hawks’ tails for Murray at the trade deadline than the Lakers. The two teams talked at length before the deadline and a deal looked like it was going to happen at one point.

That trade did not work out, but depending on what happens with the Lakers in the offseason, perhaps they can revisit those talks. What could help Los Angeles with trade negotiations for Murray is the fact that they will have more first-round picks to trade in the summer than they did at the deadline.

Because the New Orleans Pelicans control whether or not they want the Lakers’ first-round pick this year or next year, Rob Pelinka and the front office could not deal that pick at the deadline. They will be able to at the draft if New Orleans chooses next year’s Lakers pick.

Los Angeles will have two more firsts they can trade along with that pick. They can also send their first-round pick from last year (Jalen Hood-Schifino) in that deal, too. Rui Hachimura and Gabe Vincent’s contracts could make the money work.

If the Hawks want to move on from the Young-Murray backcourt, they will have the option to do so with the Lakers as a potential trade partner.

Golden State Warriors

The Lakers stand out as a potential trade partner for the Hawks. But there may not be a competitive team more desperate for an upgrade than the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors missed the playoffs for the second time in four seasons after falling to the Sacramento Kings in the bottom half of the Western Conference Play-In Tournament on Tuesday.

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