Former exec expects another player to be added in Hawks' Dejounte Murray trade

One former NBA executive expects the Atlanta Hawks' trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to be expanded to include another player.
Former Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray
Former Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks’ trade sending Dejounte Murray to the New Orleans Pelicans cannot be made official until July 6. 

However, the two sides could wait as the Pelicans sort through some of their other options.

“The decision on how much of Murray’s 15% trade kicker he’ll receive has been left open-ended, sources said, to provide greater flexibility as the Pelicans proceed with their offseason,” Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer wrote on June 30.

There is more to it though, with the Pelicans also falling short of satisfying salary-matching rules in the deal, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

“Dejounte Murray's trade bonus was $12 million. When you either spread it out over three or four years, that's an added $3 million or $4 million to the Pelicans’ bottom line,” ESPN’s Bobby Marks -- who spent two decades in the Brooklyn Nets' front office -- said on June 30.”For example, by moving it to July 1st, New Orleans will not have to pay the luxury tax because the new year starts July 1.

“However, keep an eye on New Orleans having to add another player – possibly a guy like Matt Ryan. Maybe there's a signing trade in place – because they are short about $2.1 to $2.2 million. So that deal will not get done until, we believe – unless New Orleans wants to pay the luxury tax and lose out on $12 million – that deal will not get done until July 6th when the moratorium is over.”

Notably, the Pelicans were a team linked to Hawks center Clint Capela in trade rumors.

The Hawks were expected to explore trade options for Capela this offseason. But that was with the assumption that the Hawks would select Alexandre Sarr or Donvan Clingan with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft.

Instead, they selected Zaccharie Risacher, whose presence could be more ominous for former No. 4 overall pick De’Andre Hunter.

Related. Hunter trades. 3 De'Andre Hunter trades to help the Hawks clear a path for Zaccharie Risacher. dark

Hawks could land sharpshooting former UDFA in expanded trade with Pelicans

Ryan, 27, entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2021. He entered the league with the Denver Nuggets but has spent time with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 6-foot-6 swingman averaged 5.4 points and 1.4 rebounds, shooting 45.1% from beyond the arc last season.

Ryan is entering Year 2 of a three-year, $6 million contract with a $2.2 million cap hit in 2024-25.

The Hawks could also look to target 6-foot-7 forward Naji Marshall for the sign-and-trade scenario Marks mentioned. Marshall averaged 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists last season. 

He also shot 38.7% from deep and is a good defender. Marshall is coming off a four-year, $5.3 million pact.