5 Frontrunners Emerge For D’Angelo Russell Trade With Lakers

5 Frontrunners Emerge For D’Angelo Russell Trade With Lakers

D’Angelo Russell has been on an absolute hot streak over the past few weeks, but that is unlikely to change his future with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ever since his collapse in the playoffs last year, L.A. has had its eye on upgrading. Russell has consistently been viewed as a key piece that would have to be outgoing in order to make improvements happen.

In recent days, the Lakers have been closely linked to a trade with the Atlanta Hawks centered around Dejounte Murray. There is no feasible scenario where that move occurs without Russell being involved.

Obviously the Lakers have also been connected to a reunion with two former players, a surprising trade offer to the Golden State Warriors (which was rejected), and a possible move involving Austin Reaves — but that Murray trade is viewed as the most legitimate option for them.

Part of the reason why is because of how hefty the Cleveland Cavaliers’ asking price for Donovan Mitchell truly is.

This past week Jovan Buha of The Athletic appeared on Michael Scotto’s HoopsHype podcast and broke down the situation as it pertains to Russell.

“Right now, you’re highlighting the hurdle, I think, with this trade right now with the Lakers needing to find a third team because that’s how it usually goes,” Buha said.

“If you’re Atlanta, they don’t want to take back D’Angelo, so you need to find a third team and figure out what you can add to sweeten it to get them involved and then send D’Angelo somewhere else.”

According to Buha, five teams have emerged as potential landing spots for Russell.

“You mentioned some of the names I heard out there,” he said.

“[The] Brooklyn [Nets], Charlotte [Hornets], [and] Washington [Wizards]. [The] Detroit [Pistons] and San Antonio [Spurs] also could get involved. It has to be a team willing to take on some bad money, likely a lottery team, that’ll look to recoup assets from the Lakers in the form of a second-round pick or two or a future pick swap.”

The Spurs seem like an unlikely option given Gregg Popovich’s history of purposely ruining the Lakers’ trades. The rest of the teams listed appear pretty viable, though.

It is just a matter of who will feel like this move can benefit their short term or long term goals.

One way or another, Murray-to-Los Angeles clearly has some very real legs.

All parties involved are interested. It is just a matter of working out the right swap.

Will Murray be a member of the Lakers by the time the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline comes and goes? Time will tell.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.
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