Pacific rival expected to trump Warriors in moving for best remaining trade target

Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors
Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers are set to meet for the first time on Saturday night, but they may first be duelling for the same trade target ahead of the February 8 deadline.

With Pascal Siakam having been traded to the Indiana Pacers last week, Dejounte Murray is perhaps the biggest piece to monitor over the next fortnight. On a recent episode of the HoopsHype podcast, NBA Insider Michael Scotto labelled Murray as the "biggest name left on the board."

Despite interest from the Golden State Warriors and others, the Los Angeles Lakers are the frontrunner to land Dejounte Murray

On the same episode, The Athletic's Jovan Buha reinforced the Lakers interest in adding the Atlanta Hawks' guard amid their own struggles to a 23-23 record and ninth-place in the Western Conference.

"To me, he’d be the most likely trade outcome right now if I was handicapping the odds. I think they’re (Lakers) the favorites to land him. Again, the big hurdle right now is finding that third team."

Jovan Buha on Dejounte Murray

The Lakers are expected to move D'Angelo Russell and future draft capital, though the Hawks have little interest in the former Warrior meaning a third team will be required to take on his contract.

Dejounte Murray, Andrew Wiggins
Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Athletic's Anthony Slater linked Murray with a move to Golden State earlier in the month, with the general consensus being that the 18-26 Atlanta will move off the 27-year-old before the deadline.

The Warriors saw Murray at Chase Center on Wednesday night in a 134-112 win over the Hawks. Murray had a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but shot just 7-of-19 (36.8%) from the floor.

The 2022 All-Star is averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game, shooting 46.8% from the field and a helathy 38.7% from three-point range. Murray is also adding five rebounds and five assists per game playing second fiddle to Trae Young.

While Golden State could feasibly deal Andrew Wiggins and future draft assets for Young, that would make little sense given the glut of guards already on the roster. Saturday night's game will be the first of four matchups between the Warriors and Lakers over the remainder of the season.