NBA Rumors: 1 trade for every Lakers player on chopping block

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to wheel and deal at the NBA trade deadline.

D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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1. Lakers can flip D'Angelo Russell for Dejounte Murray


Nothing too outside the box here. It's clear the Lakers want Dejounte Murray. It's a question of whether or not the Lakers want him enough to meet the Hawks' asking price (and potentially outbid other suitors). In the end, there's enough appeal rooted in Murray's defensive reputation and playmaking repertoire to push a trade over the finish line.

Los Angeles lands its third All-Star and a bench unit leader. Murray still needs to learn how to elevate teammates in a secondary role, but he's enjoying his best 3-point shooting campaign to date and he's another source of rim pressure for the Lakers offense. While Murray's defense has wavered at times in Atlanta, it's fair to believe he would shape up under a more strict winning mandate in Los Angeles.

The Hawks net a couple valuable long-term assets — not only the Lakers' 2029 first-round pick, but a juicy 2030 swap as well. For all the rightful criticism of Murray's tenure in Atlanta, he's averaging 21.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists on ..468/.368/.836 splits in 35.0 minutes. You have to give something to get something, even if you're the Lakers.

The San Antonio Spurs are the long-awaited third team to take Russell's contract off Atlanta's hands and facilitate a deal. Doug McDermott's expiring $13.7 million contract goes to Atlanta, where he can splash a few 3s off Trae Young dimes before entering the free agent pool. In return, the Spurs finally get a point guard to help Victor Wembanyama captain the offense. It's fair to doubt Russell's viability as the full-time starter, but he's in the middle of a torrid stretch (22.3 points and 6.5 assists on .450/.462/.865 over his last 10 games). He would give the Spurs a potent pull-up shooter and a pick-and-roll partner for Wemby. Also, his contract becomes an expiring contract next season, so the Spurs shouldn't have trouble flipping it down the line (potentially for positive value).

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