Report: Three-Team Blockbuster Deal Was Reportedly Discussed Between Lakers, Hawks, and Nets During the Season

Jan 30, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers forward Taurean Prince (12) during the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers forward Taurean Prince (12) during the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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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

It was reported that the Hawks did not want Russell back in a deal, but according to Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus, there was a three-team deal discussed between the Lakers, Nets, and Hawks:

"Multiple sources say that before trading for Dennis Schröder, the Brooklyn Nets were in talks with the Lakers for Russell (with L.A. getting Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks). That negotiation died between the Lakers and Hawks, but the Nets still need a starting-caliber guard."

Pincus did not say what the Hawks were getting back in the deal, but I think it would likely have seen the Hawks getting Rui Hachimura, Hood-Schifino, and draft compensation back from the Lakers.

The upcoming NBA draft is not the biggest question for the Hawks this offseason though. That would be what they decide to do with the backcourt of Trae Young and Murray. There have been questions about if they Hawks are going to break up the duo, as the Hawks have not seen the results they envisioned since trading a pile of draft picks for Murray two summers ago.

Who will the Hawks trade? There is still a ways to go before that question is answered, but what teams could be the best fits for Murray if he is the one that is traded? 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:

"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.

Jackson Caudell


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