Insider points to Quin Snyder in Hawks' Dejounte Murray, Trae Young trade debate

One league insider name-dropped Quin Snyder in a discussion about the Atlanta Hawks' decision between Dejounte Murray and Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guards Dejounte Murray and Trae Young and head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks guards Dejounte Murray and Trae Young and head coach Quin Snyder / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

It would seem to be a foregone conclusion that significant changes are coming to the Atlanta Hawks this offseason. 

Their first missed postseason and fewest wins since the 2019-20 season seems to have underscored the need for something to be done differently. The easy answer would be to break up the star-studded but underperforming backcourt duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

For the Hawks, though, it may not be that simple.

“I think the Hawks are going to take some time, really go through meetings internally, and figure out what is the best course of action,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania said on “Run It Back” on April 18. “I think when you look at Trae Young's future, when you look at Dejounte Murray's future, clearly something is going to have to give in Atlanta.

"The one thing to keep an eye on in Atlanta is Quin Snyder, that aspect. He just finished his second season in Atlanta. He’s got, I believe, three years left on his contract at $8 million per year. There’s been some conversation around the league, ‘What’s his status is like?’ He’s committed there, he’s going to be there, and his relationship with Trae Young has been strong.”

That last line might be the most critical to the discussion. Snyder’s status was not in doubt after his first full season.

He has also been expected to have a major say in the direction they take with the roster.

That much was evident after reports emerged that Snyder had some part in the Hawks holding on to Murray at the deadline this year, with The Stein Line’s Marc Stein reporting on January 29 that Snyder “lobbied” the Hawks brass not to trade him. 

The head coach has also commended Young all season long for his efforts, including on defense.

All of that only adds to the intrigue of this offseason.

“So where does that leave this organization as they make these hard decisions?” Charania posed to his fellow panelists. “This is going to be an important offseason for Landry Fields and that front office."

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Hawks front office under the microscope

Fields and Co. assumed control amid some surprise as former team president Travis Schlenk stepped down due in part to the trade for Murray.

“The Dejounte Murray trade with San Antonio was the beginning of the end,” The Athletic’s Sam Amick wrote in January 2023. “Sources say it went down despite Schlenk expressing his concerns about the price being paid … and with Nick Ressler known to be a driving force behind the deal.”

According to Amick’s sources, Fields was also in favor of the deal.

In all, the trade for Murray cost the Hawks three first-round picks (they sent four out but got one back in a subsequent deal), Kevin Huerter (for tax purposes), Danilo Gallinari, and the architect of the team that made the organization’s deepest postseason run since 2014-15.

Huerter notably said he believed that run was the harbinger of the Hawks’ downfall. Others have pointed to Principal Advisor to the Governor Nick Ressler’s influence as the true culprit.

Putting the burden on Snyder lets the front office and ownership off the hook.

The same goes for putting the entire roster’s shortcomings on the potentially ill-fated backcourt duo. Injuries and inconsistency throughout plagued the team, not just Murray and Young. It seems they will bear the brunt of this experiment anyway with Snyder as the fall guy for the decision.