Hawks star Dejounte Murray breaks silence on swirling trade rumors

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray spoke his piece on the rumors swirling around him with the trade deadline less than one month away.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Amid the swirling trade rumors, Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is standing firm.

“I work too hard [to be bothered by trade rumors],” Murray told Allison Mastrangelo of WSB-TV, per Kevin Chouinard of NBA.com on January 12. “I’m too confident. Like I said, today we play Indiana, so that’s who we play.

“I’m a part of the Atlanta Hawks organization so it’s not fair for me to speak on anything like that, with just the respect that I have for this organization and my teammates.”

Murray has deactivated his Twitter and has not spoken postgame since December 8 amid the rumors. He had seemingly wiped his Instagram of all Hawks-related content, but some does remain, including one from the day he signed his four-year, $114 million contract extension.

“I Don’t Play About Loyalty,” Murray tweeted in July 2023.

He is playing very well this season, matching his career-high with 21.1 points per game on a career-best 56.4% true shooting. He is averaging 22.4 points on 57.8% true shooting and hitting 41.4% of his threes over the last 19 contests entering play on January 12.

Through all of the rumors, none have stated any desire for a trade from Murray.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski suggested on Threads on January 10 that Murray’s pairing alongside Trae Young had already run its course. The Hawks have a minus-3.9 net efficiency differential when they are on the court together, per Cleaning The Glass.

That number climbs to plus-3.5 with Young and without Murray, and it is plus-3.3 when the situation is reversed.

The Hawks top stars are 49-52 as a duo in a relatively small sample size given the implications.

Head Coach Quin Snyder sidestepped the question during a recent postgame presser. But the lack of a reaction could be warranted.

“Atlanta is not operating as if Murray has to be dealt by the deadline,” wrote Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report on January 12. “They have made it known in league circles that they're more than comfortable keeping him in the fold and revisiting his future in the offseason.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Hawks were going to “begin escalating” their trade conversations around the one-time All-Star on “Run It Back” on January 9. And Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports noted Murray could be the “next-best player” who could be on the move at the trade deadline on January 11.

Haynes had previously predicted that Murray would be traded by the February 8 trade deadline and that he could be the key to finalizing a trade for Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam.

But this is also in line with Haynes’ previous reporting about the Hawks’ stance regarding a Murray trade on the same episode of the “thisleague UNCUT” podcast on January 8.

“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.”

That last line may be the most critical of all.

Hawks may have learned lesson from previous trades

The Hawks have faced criticism for their returns in previous deals, most notably trading John Collins to the Utah Jazz in what amounted to a salary dump. Their trade to acquire Murray also cost them handsomely, which could be playing a role.

“When you work in a front office, what I’ve learned is that there’s a pride element to things,” said ESPN’s Bobby Marks on the “HoopsHype Podcast” on January 12. “They just traded for Murray a year and a half ago, and they gave up two unprotected firsts and an unprotected pick swap that has not yet come to fruition.”

One of those picks was courtesy of the Charlotte Hornets via the New York Knicks.

But the Hawks also gave up Danilo Gallinari, and later traded Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings, in part, to recoup some of the draft capital and luxury tax space lost acquiring Murray.

“If you’re Atlanta and you’re saying you need to get those back in another deal, I think you’re going to be waiting a while,” Marks, a former assistant general manager with the Brooklyn Nets. “I don’t think you’re going to get what you gave up for him.”

Even so, that is not necessarily a bad thing.