HomeSportsDejounte Murray's trade notes: Hawks get 'A' for giving Trae Young an...

Dejounte Murray’s trade notes: Hawks get ‘A’ for giving Trae Young an All-Star teammate; Spurs brand incomplete

The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to trade Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three future first-round picks and a future first-round pick trade, Bill Reiter of CBS Sports HQ confirmed Wednesday. The Spurs will get a first-round pick in 2023 via the Charlotte Hornets and unprotected first-round picks in 2025 and 2027 via the Hawks. The trade of picks between the Spurs and the Hawks will take place in 2026.

Murray, a late first-round pick in 2016, is coming off the best season of his career, in which he led the league in steals and made the All-Star Game for the first time. He averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and two steals, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field. All of those marks were career highs. The Hawks will now pair him with Trae Young to form one of the best young backcourts in the league.

As for the Spurs, they are pivoting to a rebuild – a rebuild they hope will give them the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and a chance to take Victor Wembanyama. The 7-foot-2, 18-year-old French tall is widely seen as a generational prospect and has already impressed as a professional in his native country.

Let’s evaluate the trade.

hawks

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After their surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, the Hawks seemed like a team on the rise. Instead, they took a step back last season and had to pull off a big comeback against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament just to sneak into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed.

In January, when the team was still floundering under .500, general manager Travis Schlenk gave an interesting interview in which he admitted to reading too much in their run to the 2021 playoffs. Lower my expectations of this team.” Schlenk said. “I have to accept this responsibility that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to bring everyone back. It’s up to me.”

In that moment, it was clear that whatever happened in the final months of last season, the Hawks were going to have a transformational summer. To his credit, Schlenk didn’t wait long to put his words into action and acquired one of the most versatile young guards in the league.

How well the Hawks will be able to challenge entrenched contenders at the top of the East remains to be seen – and will depend on what other moves they make this summer – but they are much better now than they were before the trade . Here’s a look at the boost Murray is giving them based on projections from SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh:

Without Murray

41.2

54.6%

1.6%

With Murray

44.0

71.6%

4.8%

Impact

+2.8

+17.0%

+3.2%

Murray, who led the league in interceptions last season, is one of the best perimeter defensemen thanks in large part to his incredible 6-foot-10 wingspan. He’ll be able to cover some of Trae Young’s issues on that side of the ball and single-handedly improve a Hawks defense that finished 26th in the league last season and allowed 113.7 points per 100 possessions.

Moreover, Murray is a talented playmaker and is coming off his most effective goalscoring season. It should be noted, however, that it’s best to finish around the rim or score from midrange, and he shot just 32.7% from 3-point range last season. This brings up perhaps the most interesting aspect of the craft, which is that it would seem to require Young to play the ball more than he ever has in his career.

Young, who shot 48.1% on 3-pointers last season (albeit just one per game), is more than capable of doing just that. However, that will require some serious buy-in from a player used to having the ball in his hands more than anyone in the league. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how it would affect the Hawks’ offense. Despite all their defensive issues, they scored at will last season, finishing second in the league with 115.4 points per 100 possessions behind Young’s powerful pick-and-roll approach.

But whatever growing pains there may be next season, this trade was a no-brainer for the Hawks. They have a 25-year-old All-Star on the rise for what will be a few late first-round picks if all goes to plan.

Rating: A

Spurs

Receive:

  • Danilo Gallinari
  • 2023 first-round pick via the Charlotte Hornets
  • 2025 first-round pick via Atlanta Hawks (unprotected)
  • 2026 first-round pick trade via Atlanta Hawks
  • 2027 first-round pick via Atlanta Hawks (unprotected)

When the Spurs traded Derrick White to the Boston Celtics for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick (who became Blake Wesley) and a 2028 first-round pick trade at the trade deadline the season last, it came as a bit of a surprise. Now, however, we can consider it the first step in a teardown.

They continued to dismantle their roster on Wednesday by trading Murray, who is one of the most interesting young guards in the league and had the best season of his career. There’s no hiding their intentions at this point: Spurs are diving headfirst into Victor Wembanyama’s draw.

It’s hard to blame them. Wembanyama, a 7-foot-2, 18-year-old Frenchman, is perhaps one of the most intriguing prospects to grace the world stage. His ridiculous combination of size, length, and coordination make him a destructive defensive force that can defy every rim shot and more than defend on the perimeter. Offensively, he’s a constant lob threat and has shown impressive touch away from the basket. (For more, Check out this breakdown by our very own Kyle Boone.)

If the Spurs tank is successful and they end up with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, then it could become a league-altering trade. Wembanyama has a chance to be so special. However, the deal places a lot of importance on winning the draw, which isn’t a guarantee given the new flattened odds.

You could have the league’s worst record in 10 games and easily end up picking No. 3. There would still be a good player available at that pick, but not Wembanyama. If that happens, you’re really betting on the Hawks collapsing in a few years – which is less likely now that they have Murray.

The 2023 pick via the Hornets will likely be in the middle of the first round, and the 2025 pick via the Hawks’ numbers will also be near the back half of the first round. Both the 2026 pick trade and the first via the 2027 Hawks are too far in the future to discuss with certainty, but chances are neither will be particularly significant. In this very realistic scenario, you weren’t getting much for an All-Star guard entering his prime.

Of course, Spurs know all of this, just as they know that by keeping Murray (and White) they would find themselves in mediocrity. Going all-in for Wembanyama is a risk, but the potential payoff could change their franchise forever. Only time will tell if their bet is won.

Rating: Incomplete

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