4. Breaking up Trae Young and Dejounte Murray
This should only happen under one circumstance: if the Hawks find themselves in the same purgatory at the trade deadline next season.
These two young guards have only had one season together. That’s hardly a large enough sample size to make a true assessment of their combined value. Add to that a coaching firing and front-office drama throughout the year, and Young and Murray undoubtedly deserve a mulligan.
Young seemed to be in the most danger of possibly being dealt. But with his playoff performance and endorsement from Snyder, it seems like Young is safe for now. That is the right call. For all of Young’s faults, he is still an exciting player who gets butts in seats at State Farm Arena.
Young is the franchise cornerstone. Unless he continues to show an unwillingness to improve on defense come next year’s deadline, that notion should remain the same.
Because of Young’s performance, some are turning towards Murray as another scapegoat. Add to that his decision to push an official during the Celtics series that led to a suspension, and the pitchforks are already being sharpened.
However, Murray deserves the same benefit of the doubt as Young. While Murray had an up-and-down year, he still showed that he and Young are capable of being a dynamic backcourt.
This might be an unfair comparison, but early on, many wanted to break up Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum too. The Celtics are happy they didn’t now. The two of them kept learning how to play together, and now they are one of the NBA’s best duos.
As mentioned, Murray and Young have had one year together. They are still learning how to play off one another and maximize each other’s strengths. They deserve the proper time to continue to gel in Snyder’s system. Any trade plans should be postponed until a better test performance can be assessed.