After weeks of speculation as to whether or not he would remain with the Atlanta Hawks past the 2024 NBA trade deadline, ESPN senior insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Dejounte Murray will be staying put, as no trade materialized for him before the clock struck 3.
The Atlanta Hawks are keeping guard Dejounte Murray, sources tell ESPN. No trade for him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2024
NBA News: Hawks Hold Onto Dejounte Murray At Trade Deadline
Dejounte Murray has long been available for trade. Beginning with the 2023 offseason, Murray’s name constantly cropped up as part of a potential package for Pascal Siakam, who was then with the Toronto Raptors. When Siakam was traded to the Indiana Pacers, several other contenders were linked to the 27-year-old. A trade with the Los Angeles Lakers was once thought to be imminent. On the eve of the trade deadline, the New Orleans Pelicans even emerged as a dark horse suitor.
Nonetheless, there has also been a line of thought that the Hawks were somewhat resistant to trading Murray.
Hawks head coach Quin Snyder was reportedly keen on keeping the 2022 All-Star. Furthermore, Murray showed up in several clutch moments leading up to the trade deadline. Ultimately, although he may not be the optimal fit beside the face of the franchise Trae Young, Murray has played well.
Problems and Solution
Averaging 21.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, Dejounte Murray’s productivity isn’t an issue. Neither is his efficiency, as Murray is shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from 3. Furthermore, the fact that both he and Young are better scoring off-the-dribble isn’t problematic in and of itself.
The problem there lies in the fact that Jalen Johnson is so dynamic that he has to start, but he’s also better scoring off the dribble.
To that point, the trio of Young, Murray, and Johnson finding a balance could be what the Hawks truly need offensively. Figuring out what situations that they’re best in and using it to their advantage. Playing off of each other. Aspects of chemistry that only come with time.
Defensively, internal improvement could be the solution. While Young has been more assertive at the point of attack this season, his physical limitations still hinder him on that end. The opposite has been true of Murray, who could stand to be more tenacious when guarding players on-ball. Alternately, the Hawks could target a defensive specialist such as Danuel House Jr., Killian Hayes, or Kyle Lowry on the buyout market.
What Does The Future Hold For The Hawks?
The Atlanta Hawks didn’t achieve their goal of shedding salary. Because of that, they’ll likely continue looking at trades in the offseason. Subsequentially, Dejounte Murray will likely continue to be involved in trade rumors, along with players such as Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter. Nonetheless, even though it may not be enough to keep him in Atlanta, Murray can dispel some of the concerns about his fit with Trae Young by improving his on-ball defense.