Although the Los Angeles Lakers have won four of their last five games, their long-term postseason aspirations remain in jeopardy. Consistency is a big issue that might not go away on a team that always seems to be battling injury problems. The best way to combat fans' worries could be by making a big splash on the trade market.

LA continues to be linked to Atlanta Hawks All-Star guard Dejounte Murray, but a deal has been stymied to this point. And here's why.

“The Lakers and Hawks did have some pretty extensive conversations about a Dejounte Murray trade a couple weeks ago,” insider Shams Charania said on FanDuel TV, via ClutchPoints' Erik Slater. “It centered around D’Angelo Russell, a 2029 first-round draft pick, and a pick swap, I'm told. The hold up was that Atlanta wanted to find a third team for Russell.”

Will Lakers, Hawks actually commit to a Dejounte Murray trade?

Hawks' Dejounte Murray flexing

Completing a package that could accommodate Murray's sizable contract was always going to be tricky, especially with Russell's $18.7 million player option. Though, that dilemma could be simplified based on recent developments.

The former All-Star is on a tear right now for the Lakers, scoring 29 points or more three times in the last five games, while recording at least six assists in all but two outings so far in January. Efficient shooting (47.6 percent on 3-pointers this month) and strong playmaking is what can help LA propel out of the NBA Play-In Tournament and into the postseason proper.

Though, this display is characteristic of the team as a whole. D'Angelo Russell was seemingly falling out of favor with fans just a short while ago before surging. If general manager Rob Pelinka decides to hold off on targeting Murray, and Russell goes cold again, it could be too late to mount a comeback in the deep Western Conference.

Charania expects the Lakers and Hawks to revisit talks before the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline, as the search for a third team carries on. Dejounte Murray is averaging 21 points, five assists and nearly five rebounds per game this season and jut nailed two game-winners last week. The clock is ticking on two franchises that must quickly find direction.