Breaking Down Dejounte Murray’s Move to the Atlanta Hawks

Analyzing Atlanta’s exciting new acquisition and what it means for the league


The Atlanta Hawks acquired star guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs for Danilo Gallinari along with a 2023 protected first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap, and 2027 first-round pick, kicking off the offseason by establishing a new powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.

Over the past few seasons, Dejounte Murray has truly come into his own as an elite floor general. However, the Spurs have not been able to surround Murray with adequate talent, leading to five years stuck between the 7th and 11th seed. So, after coming to a mutual agreement with the San Antonio front office to find a better fit, Dejounte Murray now has teamed up with Trae Young to create a formidable backcourt duo that can take the league by storm.

Now, let’s take a look at the trade from the perspectives of the Spurs and Hawks.

Atlanta Hawks:

My immediate reaction to this trade was that a Murray/Young backcourt is awfully similar to the James Harden/Chris Paul pairing of the late 2010s Houston Rockets. This may seem blasphemous at first glance but I urge you to take a closer look. Similar to Harden and Paul, both Murray and Young are excellent facilitators with the ability to find their own shots in isolation situations.

Drawing out the comparison to the Houston Rockets, the Hawks also have lob-catching big men in both Clint Capela and John Collins. With constant lob threats lurking under the basket, Trae Young and Dejounte Murray will have the option to throw up a lob or floater as they wish, similar to what James Harden utilized to perfection with Clint Capela earlier in his career.

Additionally, with two slashing facilitators in the backcourt, shooters are a necessity in order to spread the floor. What the Rockets had but the Hawks currently lack was a surplus of knockdown shooters like Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, Gerald Green, Trevor Ariza, and more. This allowed Harden and Paul to weave their way into the key and dish it out for some quick points if they couldn’t find an opportunity at the basket.

Looking forward to some additional moves Atlanta can make before joining the elite of the Eastern Conference, I would definitely keep an eye out for great shooters to surround the two star guards.

San Antonio Spurs:

Since the abrupt departure of Kawhi Leonard in the 2018 offseason, the Spurs have been stuck in mediocrity, too good to get high draft picks, but too bad to make runs in the playoffs. And, with DeMar DeRozan leaving recently, things took a turn for the worst as no matter how well Dejounte Murray performed, it was never enough to carry the rest of the team.

Unfortunately for Spurs fans out there, with Gregg Popovich’s retirement looming, this will be a lengthy rebuild. However, through excellent draft selections, trades, and free agency moves, San Antonio’s front office has built a reputation as one of the most respected in the league and can be expected to put its best foot forward to form a competitive roster for the future. Now equipped with three more first-round picks along with a pick swap over the next five years from the Dejounte Murray trade, the Spurs have the pieces to build an elite team.

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