The Hawks Are Very Open To Trading Dejounte Murray, With At Least Five Teams In The Mix

The Atlanta Hawks 2023-24 season has not gone according to plan, as they sit in 11th place in the East at 15-21 as we near the midway point of the season. In fact, the last two seasons have not seen the Hawks reach the heights they hoped for when they traded three first round picks to pair Dejounte Murray with Trae Young in the backcourt.

Now, with the trade deadline looms in a month’s time, there are daily reports from just about every newsbreaker in the league of Murray’s availability on the trade market and the teams interested in him. Earlier this week Shams Charania said the Spurs were potentially interested in bringing Murray back — which, I have some questions about given Murray wasn’t exactly glowing in his review of his time with the Spurs after he was traded to Atlanta. Adrian Wojnarowski then said on Threads the Hawks have “gone as far as they’ll probably go” with a Murray-Young backcourt. Marc Stein likewise has detailed the Hawks openness to dealing Murray, and on Thursday Jake Fischer provided a list of five teams that have at least had some form of discussions on a Murray trade with the Hawks.

Murray has generated a substantial market during preliminary conversations around the league. The Hawks have been considered one of the more aggressive front offices this season, sources said, in terms of teams that have been willing to approach rival executives with actual trade concepts as opposed to general interest in specific players. And at this juncture, to varying degrees, the Lakers, Knicks, Sixers, Heat and Pistons are five suitors expected to engage Atlanta about acquiring Murray over the coming days and weeks before Feb 8:

However, while there’s plenty of interest there’s also not an obvious frontrunner. Fischer points out that the Knicks and Sixers are likely to be more cautious in their approach to the deadline and seem more like teams poking around rather than aggressively pursuing Murray. The Lakers, he notes, don’t want to include Austin Reaves and the Hawks aren’t interested in D’Angelo Russell, stalling out talks between those teams. The Heat have a need in the backcourt but haven’t gone beyond initial talks, and the Pistons are basically exploring every possible avenue available to them given their 3-35 record.

All of this is to say, Murray certainly seems like he’s going to get moved in the next month, but there’s not a team considered a favorite to bring him in. That’s in part because his value was once considered being a defensive stopper, but in Atlanta he has been a net-negative on that end. Some will counter that a better situation could bring more out of him on that end, but there’s not quite the same enthusiasm for teams about his two-way impact as there was when he broke through as an All-Star in San Antonio.