Insider reveals Atlanta Hawks’ stance on key addition from last season

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks aren’t tearing it down.

Dealing away Dejounte Murray, whom they dealt away three first-round picks to acquire, would certainly be the first sign that a teardown could be coming.

“The Hawks have told opposing teams Atlanta is open to conversations about all of its roster outside of Trae Young,” reported Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer on June 16. “That does not mean the Hawks are actively shopping Dejounte Murray.”

Murray, 26, is heading into the final year of a four-year, $64 million contract that, under even the new CBA, would see him leave money on the table were he to extend. That makes a foray into unrestricted free agency a likelihood in the eyes of most pundits and, given the team’s inconsistency last reason, a potential risk for the Hawks.

The former No. 29 overall pick averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds this past season.

He also added 1.5 steals and took a career-high 5.3 triples per game.

Atlanta’s results did not always show up in the final result but Murray and Young were the first set of teammates to each average 20.0 points, 6.0 assists, and appear in 70-plus games since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did it for the Chicago Bulls in the 90s.

While that does not mean that Murray is “untouchable”, it does sound like the Hawks would need to be blown away by an offer for the fiery guard.

“Murray…would cost quite a lot for Atlanta to part with,” continued Fischer in the report. “The Hawks are valuing their players in some form of tier structure…where Murray stands in his own realm after Young.”

The Hawks are also battling their own salary cap sheet, facing a $8-plus million luxury tax bill unless they can rid themselves of a few of their more onerous contracts. And Murray would be leaving $17 million on the table in the first year alone if he extended, per ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks.

Other names – such as John Collins who has three years and more than $78 million remaining on his contract – have been mentioned far more than Murray has.

Atlanta Hawks predicted to keep Saddiq Bey

“The most inbound trade calls Atlanta has gotten…have been focused on young center Onyeka Okongwu,” Fischer wrote. “The same goes for Saddiq Bey, whom Atlanta…surely intends to retain long term.”

Atlanta picked up Bey,24, in a complicated four-team trade that saw the Hawks ship out five second-round picks – two to the Golden State Warriors, three to the Portland Trail Blazers – to land the former No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. It was technically the second time Bey has been traded as part of a trade involving more than the traditional two teams.

He was also traded one day after being drafted by the Brooklyn Nets in a three-team deal that also involved the Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons.

Bey averaged 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 25 appearances with the Hawks.

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The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward also knocked down 40.0% of his triples, a much-needed attribute on a Hawks team that ranked 28th in three-point attempts and 21st in efficiency this past season.

They are also expected to take emphasize the three-ball more under head coach Quin Snyder whose Utah Jazz squad led the NBA in three-s taken in his final season at the helm.

Bey’s defense has left something to be desired at times but he is far from terrible and does know how to use his stout frame when he needs to. Like with many of the other still-developing pieces on this roster, the key for Bey – who will be a restricted free agent after next season – is finding the next level of consistency on top of what he already brings.

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There were reports Bey was looking for an extension in the range of teammate De’Andre Hunter’s four-year, $90 million contract from the Pistons before he was shipped to Atlanta and, if that proves to be true, it could throw a wrench in the Hawks’ plans