NBA Trade Rumors: New "Sleeper Team" Emerges for Dejounte Murray

It had seemed for the longest time that the Los Angeles Lakers were the favorites to land Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks. But that talk has died down quite a bit recently, partly due to the stellar play lately of their own point guard, D'Angelo Russell. 

But Murray still appears to be almost a lock to be traded (how could they even bring him back after all this trade talk?), and now, according to NBA Insider Chris Haynes, a new "sleeper team" has entered the mix. 

The Pels currently have Dyson Daniels and Jose Alvarado sharing the backup point guard duties behind CJ McCollum, but the two of them together don't provide anywhere close to the contributions or impact that former All-Star Dejounte Murray brings. He's currently averaging over 21 points per game and 5.7 assists. And as a combo-type guard, that fits what the Pelicans currently do, as McCollum isn't a traditional point guard either. 

Adding a star like that to combine with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson (and McCollum) could take the Pelicans to another level in the Western Conference. 

The Pels are currently 7th in the West, but just a half-game out of 5th and a guaranteed playoff spot. 

The team had apparently had its sights set on adding some defense at the deadline, preferably in the rim protection area in the frontcourt. That's the Pelicans' dream add, but Murray can provide a defensive boost in the backcourt at least. 

As noted by Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, "it seems unlikely that the Pelicans would make any short-term focused moves. If they're giving anything up, it's for a major addition." Murray fits that bill, both in age and contract. He starts a 4-year, $114 million extension next season.

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