It’s been rumored for quite a while that Dejounte Murray and Trae Young wanted to play together, and it looks like that has now come to pass.
The latest Woj bomb indicates that the Atlanta Hawks are going all-in on a dynamic backcourt duo, and are confident in their ability to lead them into deep playoff runs for the next half-decade or so. That’s because the Hawks are sending over a ton of first-round picks along with a swap in the deal with the San Antonio Spurs.
Murray, who still has two seasons left on a team-friendly deal that will pay him a little over $34 million, joins Atlanta after his first All-Star season, where he averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game on shooting splits of 46.2 / 32.7 / 79.4.
His fellow All-Star teammate Young averaged 28.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 9.7 assists with splits of 46 / 38.2 / 90.4.
There are questions around the deal, like how Murray (6’4) and Young (6’1) would play defensively when on the court together. That’s a relatively small back court combo. However, there’s no doubt that the two will produce some electric moments together.
For the Spurs, it feels like they could have gotten better players in return, considering how good Murray’s current contract is. The Hawks’ picks could go a long way into helping them build in the next five years, if Atlanta struggle with making the postseason. The Eastern Conference was certainly tough last season, and may continue to be considering how many good teams are contending in the East.
I thought that a deal for Murray would have to involve John Collins, but that didn’t come to pass. That means the Hawks now still have a huge asset to trade in Collins, who is rumored to be unhappy while on the second year of a five season, $125 million deal. Clint Capela is also on an expiring contract, and his deal is worth $18.2 million.
If the Hawks want to re-tool and go into a win-now mode, they certainly have the assets. This deal seems to me like a masterclass from Travis Schlenk. I’m curious to see what other moves he pulls before the start of the 2022-23 season.