The Hawks (14-20) are seeking a reset, with eyes on building around Trae Young and Jalen Johnson, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports on January 5. That means even a player like Dejounte Murray is on the block with Fischer describing him as “widely available”.
Marc Stein of The Stein Line echoed those sentiments on the team’s untouchables.
Atlanta could even seek more than one of the more highly sought-after players who could be on the trade market in return.
“It would have to be Austin Reaves, you would think Austin Reaves would be a part of that, Rui Hachimura would probably be in it,” said Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report on January 5. For Atlanta, that just wouldn’t be enough. … The Lakers, they have interest but the problem with the Lakers is they need more pieces that’s going to be attractive for the Atlanta Hawks.”
The Hawks have become quite shrewd negotiators considering the number of trade rumors they have been involved in. But they have also painted themselves into corners, holding on to John Collins while doing little to help boost his trade value and moving him in a salary dump.
They also traded Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings to recoup some of the assets they lost acquiring Murray from the San Antonio Spurs.
What Lakers assets would bring to Hawks in potential Dejounte Murray trade
Reaves and Hachimura's contracts are worth $105 million combined, but they would add roughly $10 million to the bottom line this season. That could mean the Hawks send other players out in this or separate deals.
Reaves re-signed this offseason on a four-year, $53.8 million contract this past offseason.
He entered the campaign as the starting 2-guard. But Head Coach Darvin Ham has made several changes to the Lakers’ starting lineup and rotations, including moving Reaves back to the bench role he occupied last season.
It’s worked out for Reaves’ production with the third-year guard averaging just 0.1 fewer points per game, going from 15.5 points per game to 15.4 PPG as a reserve.
But he is doing so on far greater efficiency, going from 56.3% to 63.4% true shooting.
His three-point efficiency has also returned, improving from 29.2% to 37.8% in his more familiar role off the bench. There are also whispers that Reaves is among the Lakers players at odds with Ham.
Hachimura re-upped with Los Angeles on a three-year, $51 million contract this past summer.
He has missed chunks of time this season, with two separate four-plus-game absences and also missing each of the Lakers’ last two games.
The former No. 9 overall pick by the Washington Wizards in 2019, Hachimura is averaging 11.6 points on 57.3% true shooting with 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 36.8% from deep.
Any deal for Murray would also figure to include draft capital, though. And the Lakers’ picks figure to be highly valued on the trade market. The Hawks could also try to get promising young wing Max Christie in the deal too, taking advantage of the Lakers’ 4-10 mark since winning the In-Season Tournament.