Insider weighs in on ‘surprising’ trade rumors around Hawks star

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

There is a lot of smoke around the Atlanta Hawks ahead of the official July 1 start of free agency. But how much of it is actually from a fire or coming from the Hawks themselves?

“I have heard a surprising number of rumors about Dejounte Murray being available from the Hawks,” wrote Matt Moore of Action Network on June 30. “Given that they gave up five picks for Trae Young’s very good friend last summer, I’m a bit skeptical of these rumors.”

The wording of Moore’s report would indicate the chatter is indeed coming from the outside.

To his point, the Hawks surrendered three first-round picks (two of their own and one lottery-protected first from the Charlotte Hornets via the New York Knicks), a pick swap, and veteran forward Danilo Gallinari to the San Antonio Spurs to acquire Murray last offseason in one of the summer’s biggest blockbuster deals.

At the time, rival executives scoffed at the high price the Hawks paid, a theme around the league at this time in 2022.

That deal is also said to have factored into former Hawks president Travis Schlenk’s exit.

The wins and losses belied the historic efforts put forth by the Hawks’ star backcourt tandem of Murray and Young as each averaged at least 20.0 points and 6.0 assists becoming the first set of teammates to do so since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the 90s Chicago Bulls.

Murray was open about the challenges he faced in his first year with the Hawks and about embracing them going forward.

“Coming to Atlanta it was another challenge,” Murray said via the Hawks’ YouTube channel on April 28. “But that’s the kind of person I am. I want all challenges. I don’t want nothing easy. I feel like adversities will really build you, whether it’s on or off the floor. And that’s pretty much what I can say about that.”

Likewise, Young spoke about how much of a boon it was for the Hawks to bring Murray in.

To Moore’s point, both Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter have been named in more trade rumors than Murray has and neither has been dealt yet.

Rival executives ‘circling the wagon’ on Atlanta Hawks

“After years of swirling rumors, Atlanta ultimately traded John Collins to the Utah Jazz, and there’s a belief around the league the Hawks are open to making another deal with rival NBA executives circling the wagon on Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, and De’Andre Hunter,” wrote Michael Scotto of HoopsHype on June 29.

Trading Collins dropped the Hawks below the luxury tax and created a $25.3 million trade exception. Capela, Hunter, and Murray are set to account for a combined $58.9 million against the cap next season.

Next. 5 Potential trade targets that fit into the Hawks’ $25M TPE. dark

All signs point to more activity for the Hawks this offseason.