Dejounte Murray takes Hawks teammate under his wing at pro am

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

Leadership comes in two forms: those that say and those that do, and Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is one of the rare breeds that does both.

Murray arrived last offseason following a blockbuster trade from the San Antonio Spurs to a world of heightened expectations for himself and the Hawks. All he’s done since then is keep the main focus on winning, both in his words and actions.

“Got My Rook With Me Trying To Help Him In This Long Journey, Murray said in an Instagram story featuring a video of him and teammate Mouhamed Gueye taking part in the Zeke End tournament. The Hawks traded two future first-round picks to the Boston Celtics for the rights to Gueye and it’s not hard to envision why just from watching him in the event.

His length and athleticism are evident.

The Hawks duo took on former and fellow current NBAers in Isaiah Thomas, Brandon Jennings, and Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. who is fresh off of winning a championship this past season, and Murray’s “Family Over Everything” team walked away as back-to-back champions.

Murray and Thomas are both from Washington state and the former sent a message to the latter about the event.

“Anything for you KILLA,” Murray said in another Instagram story tagging Thomas. “Pulling Up To Whatever To Do My Part!!! I Appreciate You Like I Told You!!!!! Real Love For Tacoma Forever!!”

Again, this is not the first time Murray has tried to show the younger players the way.

He was the first player to reach out to each of the Hawks’ rookies and, even facetimed No. 15 overall pick Kobe Bufkin after he first arrived in Atlanta.

Before that, has been praised for how he is by his former Spurs teammates.

“Dejounte is a real good guy,” Spurs guard Tre Jones said, per Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News on January 20. “I feel like a lot of the things that happened when he separated from here and got traded, a lot of things happened that made him out to be a bad guy a little bit. I don’t think it’s anything like that.”

It’s one thing to talk about being a leader. But it’s a different thing entirely to actually do it and Murray has proven willing and capable of doing which only figures to benefit whomever he comes in contact with and, ultimately, the Hawks.

Trae Young sends message to Onyeka Okongwu: ‘Ready to hoop again

Murray isn’t the only Hawks player keeping his younger teammates in mind. Trae Young is too, sending a message for fourth-year big man Onyeka Okongwu along with a clip of the two linking up for a basket.

“Ready to hoop again,” Young said in an Instagram story tagging Okongwu.

Okongwu is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and the Hawks have had to fight off potential suitors looking to trade for the former No. 6 overall pick.

Much as it is with Gueye, it’s easy to see why Okongwu is such an intriguing player.

Both Gueye and Okongwu are behind starter Clint Capela on the depth chart who, despite rumors that he is on the trading block, remains one of Young’s most-trusted outlets on the team after John Collins was traded.

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It could take a small miracle for either of the younger Hawks to assume that mantle. At least by this coming regular season.