Another loss dropped the Atlanta Hawks to 12-16 on the season. They have just three wins in their last 10 games. It will only amplify the trade rumors around this team. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on a new bit of Hawks intel before the game.
“The Knicks are among several teams who’ve expressed exploratory trade interest in Hawks guard Dejounte Murray,” Scotto wrote on December 22.
Murray had 24 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals in the loss to the Miami Heat just hours after Scotto’s report was published.
It was his second-most points in a game in December.
“Murray can’t be traded until Jan. 9 after agreeing to a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Hawks in July,” Scotto continued. However, given Atlanta’s sluggish start to the season as a fringe Play-In team following Jalen Johnson’s injury, nothing can be considered off the table for the Hawks in addition to usual trade suspects De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela.”
The Hawks began the season 0-2. Head Coach Quin Snyder inserted Johnson into the starting lineup, and they proceeded to go 8-5. Since Johnson’s injury – a fractured wrist that he suffered against the Washington Wizards – they are 4-9. He has been cleared to return to practice, though.
They had won back-to-back games coming into the contest against the Heat, though. The Hawks have now dropped both of their meetings against the division rival so far.
Atlanta and Miami will meet two more times this season: January 19 and February 9.
The Hawks could look very different by that final meeting which falls just one day after the NBA trade deadline.
Murray has not hinted at any desire to move on. At least not publicly, though rumors have been constant around this team. He and Trae Young pushed for the blockbuster trade that bought him here ahead of last season. Pivoting off the duo seems drastic, even with all the changes the Hawks have undergone since then.
Especially when there are other moves they have considered.
Trading for Hawks’ Dejounte Murray could be complicated
Not only would a team have to give up significant assets in terms of draft capital and players – even if it’s not as much as what the Hawks surrendered to the San Antonio Spurs – but they would also have to make sure they are matching salary with value.
That is almost impossible this season with Murray finishing out the four-year, $64 million contract he signed in 2019, unless the Hawks decide to go into an unlikely rebuild.
Teams might find it easier to match his value at his $24-plus million salary for 2024-25.
Murray also negotiated a 15% trade kicker into his contract that would have to be accounted for in any potential trades.
That’s not to say the Hawks won’t trade Murray during the season. But conversations like these often set the stage for more serious discussions in the offseason. That would give the Hawks more time to see just what and how much they want to tweak.