Playoff team expected to re-engage Hawks in trade talks amid rumored preference

The Atlanta Hawks' potential decision to split up their star backcourt could pave the way for a blockbuster return.
De'Andre Hunter, Dejounte Murray, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks
De'Andre Hunter, Dejounte Murray, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks might not be the only team whose offseason is shaped by the decision they make with their All-Star backcourt duo. One in particular is expected to engage them in trade talks and they may have a preference.

The Hawks dangled Dejounte Murray in the trade market ahead of the deadline in February, engaging in talks with multiple teams, according to reports.

One of those teams was apparently the New Orleans Pelicans, who could circle back.

“The Pelicans had contact with the … the Atlanta Hawks before the trade deadline in February. Expect those talks to resume this summer,”’s Christian Clark wrote on May 26. “If the Pelicans reengaged the Hawks, they could look to pry away Murray or Young. Even though Young is the more talented player, the Pelicans seem to hold more interest in Murray, league sources said. The 6-5 Murray is not as much of a defensive liability as the 6-1 Young can be.”

Arguments for Murray over Young also emerged this season, with the latter showcasing his chops as a primary ball handler rather than off-ball threat. Murray averaged 24.8 points and 9.2 assists per game during Young’s 23-game absence following finger surgery.

Murray is also under a more economical four-year, $114 million contract. Young still has $138 million owed to him over the next three years.

Young also has an early termination option for the 2026-27 season. He maintains he wants to stay.

Clark writes Young could “raise the Pelicans’ ceiling” more than any other option, suggesting a trade landing the three-time All-Star would be an “interesting bet on talent.” New Orleans made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed but was a first-round out.

Williamson seemed to imply he wanted the Hawks to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.  Atlanta selected Jaxson Hayes with the No. 8 overall pick. 

He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a package for De’Andre Hunter before the season.

Notably, Pelicans forward Herb Jones was also in that deal as a future second-round pick. The Hawks were said to “covet” Jones ahead of this year’s trade deadline in discussions that revolved around Murray, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania on FanDuel TV in February.

New Orleans had no interest in doing that deal, which proved wise with Jones earning All-Defensive honors this season. 

Perhaps the idea of landing Young would persuade them otherwise.

Pelicans' interest in Hawks stars could set stage for blockbuster offseason trade for Brandon Ingram

Either scenario could present a path for the Hawks to land Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans are expected to “aggressively” seek a new home for the one-time All-Star this offseason, per The Stein Line’s Marc Stein on May 12.

The Hawks were among the teams Stein linked to Ingram – who is entering the final year of a four-year, $158.3 million contract – in his report.

Atlanta also saw talks with the Los Angeles Lakers fall apart over the supposed compensation in a potential four-team deal that would have sent Murray to the purple and gold. Young was among the players Lakers insider Jovan Buha says are on LA’s list of offseason targets.

But Murray is a Klutch Sports Group client like Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Young left Klutch for rival CAA this offseason. CAA is also Williamson’s agency, which creates a solid link between the two stars. But Clark expects the Pelicans to re-engage with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason too. 

While there is budding internal optimism Mitchell will re-sign with the Cavs on an extension, he too is a CAA client. Mitchell is a domino that might have to fall before Young’s market develops.

Where it all leads remains to be seen.