Hawks' Dejounte Murray drops fitting take on Nuggets' Nikola Jokic

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray offered a fitting take on Denver Nuggets star and three-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This postseason has offered plenty of exciting moments and the Atlanta Hawks stars have been outspoken in awe of some of them.

Both Trae Young and Dejounte Murray have weighed in on the events of the playoffs, with the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell and his Minnesota Timberwolves Anthony Edwards each drawing praise from the Hawks backcourt duo.

Murray has also kept an eye on the Timberwolves series against the Denver Nuggets.

JOKIC TREAT BIGS LIKE KIDS,” Murray said in the since-deleted post on X on May 14, celebrating the efforts of Nikola Jokic in Game 5 of the series.

The three-time and current MVP, Jokic finished the contest with 40 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds, two steals, and one block. He also became the second player in playoff history to have 40-plus points and zero turnovers.

Denver gave itself a significant historical advantage taking Game 5 and a 3-2 series lead. 

Teams that have been in their position have gone on to win the series 84.1% of the time, per Land of Basketball.

Perhaps most notably, the defending champions seemingly have all the momentum on their side, winning Games 3-5 after dropping the first two battles. The series shifts back to Minnesota for Game 6.

But Denver snapped the trend of the road team winning every contest in Game 5.

Murray also praised Nuggets guard Jamal Murray’s game-winner in Game 2 of the latter’s first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

JAMAL MURRAY!!!!!! GAMEEEEEE,” Murray said in a since-deleted post on X on April 22.

CBA rules could make Hawks' Dejounte Murray an attractive trade target

Murray showcased his ability to lead a team when Young missed 23 games following surgery on his pinky. The one-time All-Star, Murray, averaged 24.8 points, 9.2 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 still while notably shooting 36.4% from beyond the arc on 9.3 attempts per game.

He is also starting a four-year, $114 million contract that is considered economical in the upcoming NBA landscape, particularly if his production during that stretch is any indication.

Stricter rules under the CBA will limit how teams can spend.

The “second tax apron” of ($11 million over the first apron, or roughly $190 million for 2024-25) looms as the greatest hurdle. But even those above the first apron ($179 million) will see harsher penalties for being big spenders.

That could create some opportunities for teams with cap space to pounce. But it could also cause teams to emphasize maximizing their return.

The value of rookies on cost-controlled contracts will only increase.

Murray could emerge as a favorable alternative to more prominent names that may induce bidding wars on the trade or free agent markets. His contract is locked in through the 2027-28 season.

Just two years into his Hawks tenure, Murray has been honest about the unexpected tumult. But he has not pushed for a trade publicly.

Still, the Hawks were rumored to have held talks regarding his availability at the trade deadline.

With reports that the Hawks will at least explore their options with splitting up the star backcourt this offseason persisting, Murray’s future remains nebulous at best. Whoever he plays for is going have a fierce competitor on their hands.