Hawks GM breaks silence on Dejounte Murray, leaves door open for Trae Young trade

Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields addressed the Dejounte Murray trade and answered questions about Trae Young's future.
Dejounte Murray, Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Dejounte Murray, Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks trade of Dejounte Murray is officially in the rearview.

It closes a tumultuous two-year chapter in the franchise’s history. Hawks general manager Landry Fields met with the media for the first time since the trade.

“Just evaluating where we’re at,” Fields told reporters on July 10 about the decision to pull the trigger on trading Murray. "It was a hard decision, it was challenging. We knew that where we ultimately want to be was going to require some challenging decisions. Just not being at that point, currently, where we felt like we could continue on with what he had so [we] wanted to reshape some things. 

“This an unfortunate part of the business. Dejounte’s a fantastic player. But we’re excited for him in his journey on in New Orleans. But we’re also very excited about the guys that we got back. Got a few assets with it too, which are gonna be helpful for us to continue to build.”

Murray has commented on the trade, sending love to his former teammates, the city, and the Hawks organization for his tenure. 

He said he understood the business aspect during his introductory presser with the Pelicans.

Fields said he did not view the trade bringing Murray to the Hawks as a “failure,” adding that he would do it over again. Fields also made notable remarks regarding Trae Young’s future.

When asked if it was safe to presume the three-time All-Star would be on the roster, Fields pointed to the big picture instead.

He also referred back to their decision to trade Murray.

“We have a lot of value in Trae. We really do,” Fields said. “We had a lot of value in Dejounte. But this is those moments where you have to make those hard decisions. So from there on, we’ll continue to build.”

Fields did say that he was comfortable with the roster but would not address who would and would not be on the roster amid stricter CBA rules.

Hawks GM dances around question about Trae Young's future

Young’s name surfaced in trade rumors at the deadline and was at one point viewed as a more likely trade candidate than Murray. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that trading Murray was easier for the Hawks.

“For Atlanta, the Trae Young-Dejounte Murray partnership just never worked; two years of it,” Wojnarowski said on “SportsCenter” on June 29. “Simply, it was easier to trade Dejounte Murray. There was more of a market with his contract and kind of where he is right now in this league.”

Murray is starting a four-year, $114 million contract. Hawks are also obligated to pay his $12 million trade bonus. His 2024-25 cap hit is roughly $14 million less than Young's.

Young is in Year 3 of a five-year, $215.1 million contract.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported on July 5 that the market for Young was “as chilly as it has ever been.” But he also noted that the Los Angeles Lakers’ faint interest could increase, provided the Hawks’ asking price for a Young trade dropped.

However, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha wrote on June 29 that Young’s switch to CAA from Klutch Sports made that move unlikely

Fields’ comments could spark another round of speculation.

As for the return from Murray, the Hawks released a hype video for veteran big man Larry Nance Jr., perhaps offering telling insight about his place on the roster. Meanwhile, Fields was asked directly about Dyson Daniels and what is most exciting about his game.

“His defensive versatility is something that really stands out. His shooting has gotten better. It’s something that we think we can get an uptick in him as time goes on with his development. So if we’re able to help him stay the course defensively and then give him some offensive adjustments there, [he] turns into a real player.”

Fields acknowledged the Hawks still had more difficult decisions to make with the roster. That could include Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter, both of whom have come up in trade rumors.