Atlanta Hawks (18-25) star Dejounte Murray is “at the forefront” of trade talks with the Los Angeles Lakers along with Toronto Raptors guard Bruce Brown, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. But things may not be as far along as it may seem.
In the wake of the division rival Miami Heat’s trade for Terry Rozier, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Hawks are pumping the brakes a bit.
“Landry Fields, their GM, has been talking with a number of teams throughout the year. I don’t want to say they’re taking a pause right now. But I think they’re going to let the dust clear a little bit on the marketplace,” Wojnarowski said on “The Woj Pod” on January 23.
“They’ve talked with the Lakers. They’ve exchanged the idea on some concepts. There’s nothing there yet. Certainly some other places, some other teams with interest in Murray. But Atlanta wants to get value back, and they gave up a lot to San Antonio … beginning with three first-round picks, and they’re not going to get that back in this trade.”
The offers exchanged have included Austin Reaves, whom the Lakers don’t want to trade, and D’Angelo Russell, whom the Hawks don’t want for financial and fit reasons.
Wojnarowski cited Murray’s strong play over the last four games.
Murray has not publicly pushed for a trade. But TNT’s Chris Haynes said that Murray felt “numb” after having his name “humiliated” with trade rumors in a report during the Lakers' eventual loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on January 23.
Murray is averaging 26.8 points, 6.8 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and shooting 42.9% from beyond the arc in that span. He had 35 points and 10 assists with six assists in the Hawks’ loss to the Sacramento Kings on January 22.
“They also have Dejounte Murray under contract for a number of years,” Wojnarowski said. “They don’t have to do something at the trade deadline. I think you saw that with John collins in previous years where they kind of kicked the can down the road on Collins before they finally moved him. Could be the case here with Dejounte Murray, although I think they’re motivated.”
This tracks with the Hawks’ ever-changing rumored asking price for Murray, now at “two first-round picks plus a starting-level player,” per Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer on January 24.
Have Hawks learned from John Collins trade?
The Hawks signed Collins to a five-year, $125 million contract ahead of the 2021-22 season amid internal hesitation and trade rumors. Those rumors followed him for the rest of his tenure, ending with his trade to the Utah Jazz this past offseason.
Collins popped back up on the trade block this year. But the Hawks took heat for only getting a conditional second-round pick and veteran forward Rudy Gay in return.
They also got a $25.3 million trade exception that expires this year.
“There’s some other pieces on this Atlanta team that could be available ahead of the trade deadline as they try to reshape this roster,” Wojnarowski said.
Perhaps that’s why the Hawks are willing to slow-play a Murray trade now. Especially with some other pieces they have an interest in moving. Each of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, and De’Andre Hunter have come up in trade rumors since this past offseason at least.