Dejounte Murray Trade Leaves Hawks In Odd Place

Dejounte Murray Trade Leaves Hawks In Odd Place

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 30: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a three-point … [+] basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves with Dejounte Murray #5 during the fourth quarter at State Farm Arena on October 30, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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The New Orleans Pelicans have landed All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks, just days after the Hawks made the first pick in the 2024 draft.

The deal is, well, quite the get for New Orleans.

They relinquished Larry Nance Jr, a solid veteran big man who is 31 and has started just 12 total games over the past three seasons, and Dyson Daniels, a soon-to-be third-year player who has upside, but hasn’t set the world on fire so far in his career.

The Pelicans added two first-round selections – a 2025 first, via the Los Angeles Lakers, and a 2027 first-round pick which is the least favorable between the Pelicans themselves or the Milwaukee Bucks.

Murray, the main player involved in this trade, sits on an extremely manageable contract. He’ll account for just 17.4% of the cap this upcoming season, a percentage that will decline further as the salary cap increases in coming years.

The deal seems fairly lobsided on behalf of the Pelicans, and raises questions about what exactly the Hawks are expecting out of themselves for next season.

While it appears that Atlanta is taking a step back, and leaning into a youth movement, on the back of selecting Zaccharie Risacher first overall, there’s an odd component in play.

The Hawks do not have control of their 2025 first-round draft pick, as it is owed by the San Antonio Spurs. In fact, they don’t control their 2026 and 2027 selections either, as the Spurs have swapping rights in 2026, and owns Atlanta’s selection in 2027.

For the Hawks to give up the best player in the deal, it’s fair to question if they’ll be better in 2024-2025 than they were this year.

Granted, summer isn’t over, so they have some opportunities to strengthen their roster, but unless that make quite a splash, it would appear the Spurs have cause for some celebration.

It’s not wrong for Atlanta to pivot into youth. That’s a viable option for them, if they felt the former version of the roster couldn’t take them any further than what it did.

But to give up Murray, a player who averaged 24.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 8.4 assists over the last 29 games of the season, and not receive a clear-cut starter in return… that’s slightly concerning for a team that won 36 games this year and who isn’t control of their own future.

Perhaps the organization is looking at the 2025-2027 picks as a lost cost, and determining to simply initiate the rebuild regardless of what they might end up relinquishing to the Spurs next year.

That’s certainly fair, especially if they believe the Risacher era needs to get off to a start without much immediate pressure of winning.

Whatever Atlanta’s logic, this trade does not appear to have done them any favors in the short-term, nor the long-term.

Unless noted otherwise, all stats via, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball-Reference. All salary information via Spotrac. All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

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