The Atlanta Hawks will likely have to wait until the summer of 2024 to ink star guard Dejounte Murray to a new contract thanks to league rules – even under the new CBA – who is heading into the final year of his current four-year, $64 million pact.
That could make for some interesting discussions among the front office, ownership, and the coaching staff about doing an “about face”, writes Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report.
“The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t turn around their season until they replaced scoring guard D’Angelo Russell (minus-6.7 net differential) with floor general Mike Conley (plus-7.7). That was far from a permanent solution, though, as the 35-year-old Conley is now approaching the final (partially guaranteed) season on his contract.
“Dealing for Dejounte Murray could give them a permanent fix.”
Atlanta sent three unprotected first-round picks – their own in 2025, 2027, and a swap in 2026 – along with a lottery-protected first-rounder from the Charlotte Hornets by way of the New York Knicks as well as veteran forward Danilo Gallinari to the San Antonio Spurs to land Murray.
For myriad reasons, they got off to a 29-30 start under former head coach Nate McMillan before making the switch to Quin Snyder, part of the drastic changes the Hawks endured this season.
The Hawks went 10-11 under Snyder in the regular season but won four of their final six regular-season contests before bowing out of the postseason after six games against the Boston Celtics.
Buckley previously suggested the Hawks and Timberwolves swap stars.
“Karl-Anthony Towns is 10 inches taller and 84 pounds heavier than Trae Young. Somehow, though, the two might be mirror images of each other,” Buckley wrote on May 6. “Maybe it would be nothing more than the proverbial rearrangement of the Titanic’s deckchairs, but perhaps it would align the puzzle pieces of two talented rosters.”
Perhaps they swap in Murray (along with Bogdan Bogdanovic’s $18 million) instead?
In this most recent piece, Buckley considered Hawks forward John Collins a “dream” target for the Indiana Pacers while he assigns Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown to his hometown. For what it’s worth, the Hawks have shown no signs of wanting a do-over on the Murray trade.
Highly-decorated guard highlights latest wave of Hawks’ pre-draft workouts
Thursday brought with it another slew of pre-draft workouts for the Hawks with six more prospects getting an opportunity to impress.
Carr is a two-time All-Big 12 and All-Big 12 Tournament selection who also earned an All-Big Ten selection in 2021 and was named to the NCAA All-Region Team. The sixth-year senior averaged 15.9 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 42.8% from the floor and 36.8% from beyond the arc.
Davis is small – listed at 5-foot-11 – but is a four-time All-AAC selection who was named the conference’s Player of the Year in 2021 and won the AAC Tournament MVP this past season while being named to the All-AAC Tournament team.
The fifth-year guard averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.7 boards this past year.
Princeton’s Tosan Evbuomwan hails from the United Kingdom. A 6-foot-7 forward, he too is a two-time All-Conference (Ivy) and All-Ivy Tournament selection. Evbuomwan, who was also named All-Region and Ivy Tournament MVP, averaged 15.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists for the Tigers in 2022-23.
Wings Landers Nolley II and Drew Peterson both stand at least 6-foot-7 and shot better than 35% from beyond the arc for their respective programs. Nolley is a two-time All-AAC and 2023 AAC Tournament selection who averaged 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while knocking down over 41% of his deep looks. Peterson averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 boards, and 4.3 assists and is a two-time All-Pac 12 pick.
Finally, Erik Stevenson is more in the mold of a traditional point guard at 6-foot-3 and averaged 15.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 43% shooting overall and 37.9% on threes.
The Hawks are set to pick at Nos. 15 and 46 in the 2023 NBA Draft on June 22.