Dejounte Murray being overshadowed by Hawks' tumultuous season

Dejounte Murray's already-strong season has trended upward in recent weeks and it simply hasn't mattered like it should.

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is on a tear. 

The one-time All-Star and former steals champ is averaging 26.6 points on 56.1% true shooting with 8.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals while shooting 37.9% on 8.7 three-point attempts over the last 10 games.

He has done this at an opportune time, with Trae Young sidelined after finger surgery. But it has not translated to team success.

The Hawks are just 5-5 in those games.

They have followed their two and three-game winning streaks with equal-length skids. The inability to maintain a positive trend – they are currently on a three-game skid – has kept them from taking advantage of a slide by the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings and have lost three of their last four games.

But the Hawks still set 2.5 games back.

On the season, Murray is averaging a career-high 22.3 points and shooting 36.4% from beyond the arc on a career-high 6.6 attempts per game with 5.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals for the Hawks.

There are myriad reasons for the Hawks’ inability to overcome and take advantage of Murray’s momentum, not the least of which being Young’s extended absence. But the Hawks have had to navigate life without their top two centers and all three of their top wing options for large stretches.

The bottom line is arguably the best stretch of Murray’s career becoming a footnote of a wayward season.

A season that set out with far fewer expectations than it may have seemed.

Hawks assistant coach offers telling take on season outlook

Hawks assistant coach Mike Brey offered up a rough outline of the plan for this offseason and the reality this season has presented them with.

“The key was to get Quin, and to get a quality coach, and a proven guy. And [the front office] got that done,” Brey said on Sirius XM’s “The Starting Lineup” on March 13. “And then, kind of evaluate where you’re at.

“I think there were some trade things that were thoroughly discussed before the deadline, but nothing materialized. And I agreed. Nobody wanted to panic and just give away stuff. You gotta take a step back and look at it. But you got the two guards. Are those two guys gonna play together, Murray and Young? Is that something you want to keep moving forward with?

Brey lamented Bey’s season-ending injury, praised Jalen Johnson’s development, and more.

But his comments about the future of the Hawks’ backcourt speak volumes in a business where such admissions rarely occur.

They also fit with reports from this past trade deadline that the Hawks at least broached the idea of trading Young amid serious interest from the Los Angeles Lakers. The two sides failed to reach an agreement on a deal.

However, the Lakers are prepared to make a run at Young this offseason if he is made available, per various reports.

That puts Murray’s recent production in a different light, even if the results are all too familiar.

For now, there has been no word that the Hawks want to move Young, nor that he is looking to relocate. But the pressure is already on from the outside and the inside to produce better results. Further disappointment could result in drastic measures, just like any other situation.