“IF IT’S US VS THEM WHO YOU THINK GON WIN,” Young tweeted in reaction to the news of Dejounte Murray’s four-year, $120 million contract extension on July 6. “YKTV!! We locked in Brotha #BiggerThanHoop”
Young’s message came in the form of a quote tweet of Murray’s message reaffirming his commitment to Hawks fans.
Both players averaged at least 20 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.0 rebounds becoming the first tandem since Micheal Jordan and Scottie Pipped on the 90s Chicago Bulls to do so even as they had to make serious adjustments to play alongside one another.
Murray moved back off the ball, a change he noted took some getting used to.
“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 – who was a driving force behind the trade last offseason – was adamant that getting Murray was good for the Hawks.
The Hawks finished the regular season 41-41 but were 35-32 with their dynamic duo healthy.
Their plus-1.6 net rating with Murray and Young on the floor together ranked in the 62nd percentile, per Cleaning The Glass and there is at least one reason to believe they will be even better next season.
Trae Young credited Quin Snyder for Atlanta Hawks’ identity
“You do have to give them credit,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in a video shared by NBA Interviews on YouTube on April 11. “I think Quin [Snyder] has done a great job of just creating an identity for that team. They’re different just in terms of how they really try to crash [the glass] and get second opportunities.”
Atlanta was 10-11 under Snyder but did win three of their last five and their Play-In Tournament matchup against the Miami Heat.
Young was certainly all-in on what Snyder was preaching.
“He just makes it easier for us to go out there and do our jobs and not necessarily think too much,” Young said via Hawks’ YouTube channel after that tilt against Miami. “Obviously, we’re not perfect and where we want to be and where we will be. But he’s done a great job with that.”
With a full offseason for Snyder to finish implementing his way, and new money being handed out, expectations will be higher next season.
Regardless, the triumvirate of Murray, Snyder, and Young figure to be at the forefront of whatever is coming next for the Hawks.