Dejounte Murray trade grades: Pelicans land All-Star guard in major deal with Atlanta Hawks, per reports

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly trading All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the New Orleans Pelicans for Larry Nance Jr., Dyson Daniels, a 2025 first-round pick and a 2027 first-round pick, per ESPN. The Hawks had long been rumored to part with either Murray or Trae Young, and now it appears they’ve made a decision, and Murray will be joining the Pelicans to play alongside Zion Williamson.

With Murray departing the Hawks, Atlanta has now officially moved on from the short-lived backcourt of Young and Murray. The duo played just two seasons together in Atlanta, which amounted to a first-round playoff exit in Year 1, and a disappointing 36-46 record this past season. Despite the poor showing from the Hawks this season, Murray averaged a career-high 22.5 points, to go along with 6.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds. He also shot nearly 46% from the floor, and a near career-high 36.3% from deep on over seven attempts per game. 

It’s a solid move for the Pelicans, and seemed to be a necessary one for the Hawks, so let’s sort through this deal and see where the value is on both sides. Here are our grades for the Murray trade.

New Orleans Pelicans: B+

The Pelicans have really needed someone to bolster their backcourt with CJ McCollum, and they’re getting that with Murray. With him in the fold, it will allow McCollum to move back to his more natural position of shooting guard. Murray can have the ball in his hands more, and McCollum can play the role he was so successful at with the Trail Blazers alongside Damian Lillard. 

The move also provides the Pelicans with another scoring threat next to McCollum and Zion Williamson, and potentially Brandon Ingram, depending on his future with the team. Ingram has long been rumored as a summer trade candidate, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that New Orleans is hoping to find common ground on a contract extension with Ingram. If he does stay with the Pelicans, it will be interesting to see how all those guys share the ball, because as we saw with the Hawks, Murray is better when he has the ball in his hands.

Regardless, Murray’s 3-point volume — and efficiency — will help a New Orleans team that ranked 24th in 3-point attempts. More so, his impact extends with or without the ball, he can score off the dribble, and in the season in which he earned All-Star honors with the Spurs, he showed off his court vision with his ability to facilitate at a high level, averaging over nine assists a game. 

On the defensive side of the ball is perhaps where the Pelicans get the greatest value in Murray. At 6-foot-5, Murray has an insane 6-foot-10 wingspan, which makes life difficult for opposing guards on the perimeter. He earned All-Defensive honors during the 2017-18 season, and he now joins a roster with newly named All-Defensive forward Herbert Jones. The Pelicans are coming off a season in which they had the sixth-best defense in the league. Adding Murray to the mix elevates that defense even further.

Atlanta Hawks: B

The Hawks were rumored to move Murray or Young at some point, and ahead of the trade deadline it seemed like Murray would end up with the Lakers. But Atlanta held onto him for the remainder of the season, and got two first-round picks, as well as a solid young player in Daniels to go with it. The 2025 first-round pick is coming from the Lakers, and the 2027 pick will be the worse of either the Bucks or Pelicans, so neither will hold a ton of value in the grand scheme of things. But next year’s draft is expected to be deep, and even if L.A.’s pick is a mid-to-late first rounder, there could be some high upside with whoever Atlanta chooses.

With Murray gone, it gives the Hawks a bit of clarity on where they want to go for the rest of the offseason. We’ll have to see if they plan to be competitive next season, because despite the single season where they made it to the Eastern Conference finals, the Hawks haven’t experienced much success with Young as their centerpiece. He’s only 25 years old, and he was the reason the Hawks made that trip in the first place, but his efficiency has taken a dive over the last two seasons, and he’s still among the league’s worst defenders. 

There’s an option here in which the Hawks could hit the full reset button and move on from Young to enter a rebuild. Atlanta just drafted the No. 1 pick in Zaccharie Risacher, and Young will still fetch valuable assets on the trade market. But if the plan is to make additional moves to continue building around Young for the foreseeable future, Atlanta received considerable assets from this deal that could be parlayed into further work. 

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top