Atlanta Hawks, Dejounte Murray agree to 4-year, $120 million extension: Report

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

On the first day when deals can be made official around the NBA the Atlanta Hawks and Dejounte Murray agreed to a new four-year, $120 million contract extension that should keep him in Atlanta through the 2027-28 season.

Murray, 26, averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds this past season, his first with the Hawks after a blockbuster trade from the San Antonio Spurs last offseason.

There was a thought that Murray could opt for unrestricted free agency after this coming season. He stood to command a starting salary roughly $17 million richer had he done so but Murray seemed to hint that he was not so much concerned about that difference in a tweet on the eve of his new deal.

“I Don’t Play About Loyalty,” Murray tweeted on July 5.

The new collective bargaining agreement made it so that teams could extend players to deals with first-year salaries 40% higher than the final year of their current contract.

That threshold was 20% under the previous CBA.

But even that did not seem to be commensurate value for Murray who signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Spurs in 2019. And, per ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst in June of 2022, told the Spurs he would not sign an extension off that deal.

“Dejounte Murray…will make just $17.7 million next season,” wrote Sam Quinn of CBS Sports on April 3. “A 40% bump wouldn’t even take him to $25 million. We can’t accurately project his max in 2024 without knowing where the cap will fall, but at a bare minimum, it’s going to exceed $40 million. It still doesn’t make sense for him to extend.”

Quinn was not alone in thinking this way with former Brooklyn Nets general manager-turned-ESPN front office analyst Bobby Marks also pegged Murray for free agency next summer.

That uncertainty fueled speculation that he could be traded before sentiments shifted.

Related Story. Insider weighs in on ‘surprising’ trade rumors around Hawks star. light

“There continues to be optimism among league personnel familiar with the situation that Atlanta will come to terms on a contract extension for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray,” wrote Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer on July 5.

And, instead, Murray locks in with the Hawks where he and Trae Young will look to build upon their historic season that, unfortunately for the Hawks, did not translate into team success with their second consecutive first-round playoff exit. They did, however, manage to take two games off the Boston Celtics and look more competitive than against the Miami Heat in 2021-22.

“Obviously 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.”

Young spoke about the impact of bringing Murray to Atlanta – something that he pushed for last summer – on his podcast, ‘From The Point by Trae Young’, and their outlook.

Atlanta was 38-36 with Murray in the lineup, and 35-32 with both him and Young active.

And there are no consolation prizes with Young noting that it was disappointing to take a step back after making a run to the Eastern Conference Finals in ‘21-’22. With the Hawks spending an estimated $67-plus million on its backcourt, results must follow.

Atlanta Hawks sign rookie Seth Lundy to two-way deal

The Hawks essentially filled their final two-way slot, signing rookie and No. 46 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft Seth Lundy, a 6-foot-6 sharpshooter out of Penn State. There is little surprise in Lundy’s signing.

One of Atlanta’s other two-way slots is filled by forward Miles Norris out of UC Santa Barbara and the other is “filled” by the qualifying offer extended to restricted free agent Trent Forrest who appeared in 23 games for the Hawks last season drawing four starts. They signed first-round pick Kobe Bufkin and second-round big man Mouhamed Gueye on July 3.

The Hawks’ lone unrestricted free agent, Aaron Holiday, joined the Houston Rockets on July 6.

Holiday was always unlikely to return but became even more superfluous after the Hawks acquired TyTy Washington from Houston.

Next. Grade the trade: Hawks land pair of former 1st-round picks from Rockets. dark

The Hawks are still at 18 contracts with 15 of them fully guaranteed and then two of their three two-way slots accounted for. Barring something unforeseen like a blockbuster trade, this should be the team that enters the 2023-24 season.