Hawks star could be key to trade for 2-time All-NBA performer: 'Probably should have happened'

One league insider speculated on a potential trade of one Atlanta Hawks star that would bring back a former NBA champion.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his rumored insistence and agreement on a team-friendly four-year, $114 million contract, Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray could still very well end up traded. And the Toronto Raptors could still be the destination with Pascal Siakam coming to the Hawks.

“Pascal and Dejounte might be a swap there. That definitely could happen,” Chris Haynes said on the “thisleague UNCUT” podcast on January 8. “People thought Siakam was going to end up with the Hawks last year. I talked to rival executives, they said it was close. It probably should have happened. Something happened that kind of ended that. I don’t know what that is exactly.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that deal started to resurface.”

It is unconfirmed, but Samson Folk of Raptors Republic relayed his “understanding” that the Hawks were indeed set to include Murray in a package for Siakam.

“[The Hawks are] like, ‘Dejounte, we will send you to Toronto,’” said Raptors Republic’s Samson Folk on the “Game Theory Podcast w/ Sam Vecenie” on January 5. “And he is like, ‘No, let me sign an extension instead.

“I don’t think Dejounte wanted Toronto at all.”

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“It seems like Atlanta is looking for another scorer,” Haynes continued. “They feel like there’s a necessity to have another guy who can take the scoring load from Trae Young because teams start to load up on him during those clutch minutes.”

Murray was supposed to be that help. He and Young have put up history-matching numbers together in the backcourt too. But team success has remained elusive.

Thanks to their 13-20 record together this season, the duo is 48-52 together all-time.

One thing Haynes did caution the Hawks over if they make a trade: the rumored potential step back, saying the front office would need to ensure Young is on board with that plan because he “wants to win now.”

“They would definitely have to have a talk with Trae Young,” Haynes said. “He wants players there that can play now. He’s looking at the landscape of the rest of his peers, the help that they have, and the noise that they’re making and he’s competitive as they come. … The Hawks would just have to make sure that their star player is on board with bringing in young guys.”

To that, Stein responded by doubling down on his report that the Hawks are looking to build around Young and Jalen Johnson.

Siakam, 29, is a two-time All-Star and All-NBA selection, and he won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019. The Hawks and Raptors have exchanged multiple offers but have not been able to find the middle on a trade. Hawks general manager Landry Fields noted his appreciation for Murray taking the contract he did.

The one-time All-Star potentially passed up more money in free agency after this season.

Hawks in no hurry to trade Dejounte Murray

“I know Atlanta, they feel like this is something they can hold onto. And I mean hold onto Dejounte,” Haynes said. “They don’t feel like they have to make a deal by the deadline. They feel like they can revisit this over the summer and see what comes about. … They’d definitely be open. But they’re not going to do it for peanuts.”

The Hawks have taken plenty of criticism for their handling of the John Collins trade, though he is back on the trading block courtesy of his new team, the Utah Jazz. They also surrendered a hefty sum of assets for Murray, which show host Marc Stein believes sets the asking price.

Stein notes that the Los Angeles Lakers, despite potential interest, don’t have the draft assets to meet that price.

The Hawks can stand strong on that as long as the rumors don’t disrupt the chemistry.