The Atlanta Hawks (14-20) are back at square 1.
“They are receiving ample interest in Dejounte Murray,” said Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report on January 5. “I do believe Dejounte Murray will likely be traded by the deadline, that’s my belief just talking to a bunch of different executives out there. That’s my belief.”
Haynes names the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers as two of “many” interested teams.
Murray entered play on January 5 averaging 20.6 points on a career-high 55.9% true shooting.
Per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, every Hawks player outside of Trae Young and Jalen Johnson is available for trade.
That includes Murray.
“Of late, Atlanta has informed numerous teams the only untouchable players on the Hawks’ roster are Young and rising third-year forward Jalen Johnson,” Fischer wrote in his latest batch of intel on January 5.
“There’s plenty of sense for the Hawks, currently 14-19, to weigh selling some of its veteran contributors, incorporating a lottery pick alongside Young and Johnson, then stepping back toward Atlanta’s bigger goal of competing in the playoffs under head coach Quin Snyder next season.”
Names like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, and De’Andre Hunter have all been named in trade rumors over the last few months, and Fischer expects that to continue.
It is a surprising stance for Onyeka Okongwu who previously held the title of “untouchable”.
Fischer describes the Hawks as “one of the more active teams on the phones,” and notes they have made Dejounte Murray “widely available”. With Fischer also saying Murray could be the “premier point guard” on the trade market, the Hawks could be positioned to recoup some picks.
They surrendered four first-round picks – three of their own and one from the Charlotte Hornets – to acquire him from the San Antonio Spurs ahead of last season.
Despite both he and Young being productive, the team finished 41-41.
Suggesting the Hawks would be willing to take a “step back” is damning at this point of the season. But Fischer added another note that would seem to back up that idea despite the trade deadline and All-Star break being more than a month away.
Hawks apparently back out of Pascal Siakam sweepstakes
“That seller’s path becoming more likely has league personnel no longer considering the Hawks as a prominent potential landing spot for Toronto’s other trade-deadline darling, Pascal Siakam,” Fischer wrote. But the chatter … surrounding Siakam’s potential landing spots has now centered on Indiana, Sacramento and Detroit.”
The Raptors traded OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks, who remain a threat to tra Murray. There are questions about his fit and other roadblocks to overcome, though.
The trade talk will most likely intensify as the Hawks rebound from another defeat, this one of the blowout variety to the Pacers. But Murray’s name is increasingly following in the same line as John Collins before him with all of the smoke around a trade.
Who else will join him might be the better question.