Despite both sides showing their commitment, there are some who don’t believe the Atlanta Hawks and Dejounte Murray are long for one another.
“Semi-bold prediction: Dejounte Murray gets traded,” said The Ringer’s Chris Vernon on “The Mismatch” podcast on October 20. “Dejounte Murray has one of the best, most unbelievably great contracts in the NBA given what he is as a player. He [previously] signed a four-year, $64 million contract. So this last year, he’s getting $17 million. And this is the last year of the deal.”
Vernon was speaking under the presumption that Murray would be a free agent next offseason.
However, the Hawks signed the former San Antonio Spurs star and one-time All-Star to a four-year, $120 million contract extension this offseason, giving the team control through the 2026-27 season with a $30.7 million player option for the 2027-28 campaign.
Faced with that information, Vernon doubled down on his underlying sentiments: that the Hawks could find better ways to allocate their resources.
Atlanta’s other star guard, Trae Young, is in Year 2 of a five-year, $215 million contract.
“One of the things is, Landry Fields, Quin Snyder, Kyle Korver, now they’ve got this triumvirate of management there, and they’ll remake the roster on the run. But they’re gonna remake the roster in their image and what they want in different spots. And I just don’t think that having those two guards is gonna be the best utilization in the future.”
Vernon’s co-host Kevin O’Connor said he had some “hesitation” that a trade would come to fruition, though he did toss out teams like the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves as potential partners.
Vernon came back with Miami and the Toronto Raptors, though O’Connor noted that an in-conference trade makes it tough while adding the Los Angeles Clippers to the list.
The argument was about the financials as Vernon acknowledged the optimism around the group
“A lot of people are very high on the Hawks, and I think for reasonable reason,” Vernon noted at the top of his argument. “And that is because they got Quin Snyder now, they moved off of John Collins, they’ll now have a whole year under [Snyder] – Quin Snyder did a very good job in Utah – whatever.”
Hawks ‘profile as buyers’, analyst says
Almost in direct contradiction to Vernon’s prediction, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report sees the Hawks as a team that could be looking to add to its core around the trade deadline, not subtract from it. And, because of that, it is far more likely they keep Murray and Young together rather than split them up.
“Barring disaster, the Hawks profile as buyers,” Favale wrote on October 20. Improving your title chances while moving either of them is unlikely.”
Murray has also expressed nothing but optimism about his second season with the Hawks and alongside Young. He and Young have also been very high on the difference that Snyder can make for them with the entire offseason to install his systems.
It would seem that it would indeed take a disaster for such a pivot to take place, at least during the season.