New Blockbuster Three-Team Trade Idea Sends Dejounte Murray +Alex Caruso To Lakers, Hawks Get Austin Reaves

Could the Hawks Trade Dejounte Murray To The Lakers this offseason?
Jan 6, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel (35) during the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel (35) during the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

Once the NBA Finals end, the NBA Offseason is going to commence and it could be a wild one. There are a number of players who could be on the move this offseason and one of them could be Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. Murray was being shopped leading up to the trade deadline in February and it seems likely that either he or Trae Young will be moved this offseason. The Hawks are going to be one of the main teams to watch in terms of roster moves this offseason, as they have the No. 1 pick and could move other players such as Clint Capela, De'Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, and maybe more.

I am still of the belief that the Hawks are going to keep Young, as I think they are a better team with him and that he gives them a higher ceiling than Murray (who is a really good player). Things could change of course, but I think the Hawks will end up keeping Young and trying to retool this roster around him. I think that could lead to Murray being one of the top trade options on the market and one team that was interested in him at the deadline was the Los Angeles Lakers. If Young and Donovan Mitchell are off the table this summer, Murray could be the top player available, depending on your opinion of Brandon Ingram.

It was no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers tried to trade for Hawks guard Dejounte Murray leading up to last year's trade deadline, but nothing happened, with both the Lakers and the Hawks deciding to stand pat with their teams. At one point though, it seemed like a deal between the two teams might happen. According to The Athletic's Jovan Buha, who covers the Lakers, wrote in the weeks leadin up to the trade deadline,"The Murray buzz is only increasing — and to noisy levels. The Lakers and Hawks have discussed potential frameworks of a deal, including a version late last week that centered on Russell, Hood-Schifino, the 2029 first-round pick and additional draft compensation, according to multiple team and league sources. Talks have since stalled, but are expected to pick back up closer to the deadline."You can read the full piece here

What if the Lakers and Hawks did a trade, but added an extra team? The Lakers could attempt to trade for Alex Caruso this offseason and both he and Murray could be targets. It should be noted that this is just speculative and a fun exercise to see what kind of moves can be made, not what I think a team should definitely do. That is all.

Here is the trade:

Hawks Receive: Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and the Lakers 2024 1st round pick (No,. 17 overall)

Lakers Receive: Dejounte Murray, Alex Caruso, and Torrey Craig

Chicago Bulls Receive: Jarred Vanderbilt, AJ Griffin, 2029 top-five protected pick (Via the Lakers)

I think this is a trade that could make some sense for all involved. It was rumored that the Hawks liked Reaves, but the Lakers have been unwilling to part with him. Getting Caruso from the Bulls would make that choice easier, as Caruso could slide into Reaves starting spot alongside Murray, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. Craig would be added to give the Lakers some wing depth, which they would need.

While not the trade I would prefer, Reaves could slide into a starting role with the Hawks, Hachimura gives them size and length at the wing position, Hood-Schifino is a young player who coulde develop, and the Hawks would get the No. 17 pick, which they could use to take a player to add to their core. If the Hawks stay at No. 1 and take Alex Sarr or Donovan Clingan, that could be a pretty solid starting lineup. I still think Reaves and Young in the backcourt would have problems defense and that while Hachimura is solid, he does not move the needle. The Hawks also passed on Hood-Schifino in last years draft. This draft is not highly regarded and is the No. 17 pick that valuable? I would not do this trade if I was the Hawks, but the Lakers could end up being the best option in this year's trade market, as they are going to be desperate to upgrade their team to maximize their window with James.

This would be a decent return for the Bulls for Caruso. They get two young players in Vanderbilt and Griffin (who fell out of the Hawks rotation), and a future first from the Lakers that is likely to convey. Caruso is 30 years old and on an expiring contract, so I think this might be the best return Chicago could hope for if they finally decide to move him and get assets.

I think this trade benefits the Lakers and Bulls more than the Hawks and I would not make this trade if I was Atlanta, but the Lakers should be discussed as a potential trade partner due to their past interest in Murray.

Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz listed three teams who would be the best its for Murray if he were to be traded and they included some intriguing, but not new names, that included the Lakers:

"The last time Dejounte Murray got to be the lead point guard and primary ball-handler for a full season, he was named to the All-Star team while averaging 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. He's the only player in NBA history to ever post those averages across a full season.

The Atlanta Hawks traded for Murray in 2022 and moved him to more of an off-ball role next to Trae Young, but it's been a failure for everyone involved. The Hawks went 36-46 this season, a seven-win drop from the year before they sent three first-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs for Murray.

Teams that need a high-level starting point guard should be relentlessly calling Atlanta this summer. The 27-year-old Murray is beginning a team-friendly four-year, $114 million extension and is still an elite defender who would thrive if he returns to an on-ball role.

The Hawks should be open to trading Murray to add better-fitting pieces around Young. A return to the Spurs would make a lot of sense for Murray, and teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic could be searching for a backcourt upgrade this summer.

Best Landing Spots: San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic

I have written that the Magic would be a natural trade partner with the Hawks due to the defensive players that have that Atlanta could then fit around Trae Young. Orlando needs a point guard who is also a strong defender and a trade between the two teams makes a lot of sense.

The Spurs traded Murray to the Hawks two summers ago, but they are still in need of a true point guard to pair with Victor Wembanyama, who just had one of the best rookie seasons of all time. San Antonio might be ready to win sooner than people think and a move to get Murray back would make a ton of sense. Atlanta could get some of their draft capital back and Murray gets to go to a place that is familiar. He still has admiration for Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

Another team that was not mentioned, but probably should be is the New Orleans Pelicans. Like Orlando, New Orleans needs a point guard and they have the kind of players that the Hawks need in return. A deal would make sense for both sides and might even involve Brandon Ingram.

There is still a ways to go before players start being dealt this offseaosn, but the Hawks are going to be right in the thick of nearly every conversation in what might be a wild summer.


Published
Jackson Caudell

JACKSON CAUDELL

Jackson Caudell covers the Atlanta Hawks and Georgia Tech Athletics for FanNation