Looking at the debate about if Russell is better than Atlanta Hawks star

JAtlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
JAtlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

At this stage of the offseason, there are some crazy debates that happen on podcasts and on sites like Twitter and Reddit. Some of these can be a little left of center which is a polite way of saying that it is obvious that people have not seen NBA basketball since the playoffs and have some odd takes, especially about the Atlanta Hawks it seems.

One of the worst takes of the offseason was on the pick-a-side podcast where two of the hosts got into a debate about who was better D’Angelo Russell or Dejounte Murray. I will let that sink in, yes, that was actually a debating point. If you don’t believe me, find the link here.

Russell has an impressive resume. He was taken with pick No. 2 in the 2015 draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He has then bounced around the league, playing for four different teams in seven seasons. He was on the All-Rookie team and also was named as an All-Star in the 2018-19 season when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

So, the question is, who is the better player, D’Angelo Russell or Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray?

So the question is, what else has D’Angelo Russell accomplished in his career to be compared to Murray? He has averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 29.4 minutes per game. While these are nice numbers, he has yet to actually accomplish anything in the league. His numbers have even dipped both times he has made the playoffs.

By contrast, Murray has had a tougher start to his NBA career. He did make the playoffs with the San Antonio Spurs in his first two seasons but that was as a junior member of a veteran team. However, he was good enough in his second season to make the All-Defensive team, the youngest player to ever do so. Unfortunately, he injured his ACL and did not play the next season.

So, he has been in the league one less season than Russell but has only played five seasons. In that time he has averaged 21.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.4 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. So on raw stats alone, there may be an argument to be had. He is also a one-time All-Star but also led the league in steals last season.

However, what he has done is lead a team in a manner that Russell has never been able to do. His All-Star season, which was last year had him average 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.0 steals in 34.8 minutes per game.

He also has a significant impact on both ends of the floor where Russell can play defense but at nowhere near the same level. To put it simply, when the heat is on Murray to lead the team, he stepped up last season.

Next. Where does the Atlanta Hawks starting lineup rank after the offseason. dark

Russell has never been able to step up in such a manner and apart from putting up nice numbers in the regular season he has not achieved anything. Murray has garnered respect around the league for the way that he plays and will help lead the Hawks deep into the postseason in the next two years.