The Atlanta Hawks' window to trade Dejounte Murray may have just closed, though that may not be entirely against their wishes.
For weeks, they have been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers in trade rumors regarding Murray, with a holdup over the package. Particularly, the Hawks did not want to take back D’Angelo Russell in a deal which would have also netted a first-round pick as well as a future pick swap.
Since then, those talks have not only stalled, the Lakers have had a change of heart.
According to Marc Stein of The Stein Line, there has been “little-to-no trade dialogue” between the two teams regarding a trade.
“Trade talks tend to be fluid this time of year and can be easily sparked up again,” Stein wrote on January 29. “But one source briefed on the talks termed the idea of Murray landing with the Lakers before the deadline, as of this Sunday, as ‘unrealistic.’”
Stein notes Russell’s play as one of the factors in the lack of movement.
Russell is averaging 27.5 points, 6.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks over the last eight games since rejoining the starting lineup.
The Lakers have gone 5-3 in that span, while the decision to hold onto Russell would also remove the burden of having to find another team willing to take the 27-year-old and his two-year, $36 million contract on.
For the Hawks, though, this isn’t necessarily an unwanted or unexpected turn.
Hawks not rushing into Dejounte Murray trade
“Landry Fields, their GM, has been talking with a number of teams throughout the year. I don’t want to say they’re taking a pause right now. But I think they’re going to let the dust clear a little bit on the marketplace,” Wojnarowski said on “The Woj Pod” on January 23. “But Atlanta wants to get value back ... and they’re not going to get that back in this trade.”
Murray is under contract for another four seasons after signing an extension worth $114 million in July 2023.
He has also been playing very well for the Hawks this season.
Murray, 27, is averaging a career-high 21.4 points on 56.7% true shooting, including connecting on 38.8% of his career-high 6.2 threes per game. He’s also been durable, starting every game for the Hawks this season.
As Stein noted, talks can resume at a moment’s notice. But the Lakers’ recent surge at least complicates things, with Murray viewed as their top target only days ago.
He has mostly avoided trade rumors during this stretch.
The Hawks cannot, though. Especially if they don’t course correct, currently riding a four-game losing streak. While injuries have played a part, on-court chemistry appears to be the biggest culprit behind the struggles.