It seems the Atlanta Hawks may have gotten Dejounte Murray on what many consider a team-friendly, four-year, $114 million contract (worth up to $120 million) for a reason.
And it’s not just because Murray wanted to see things through with the Hawks.
“It was my understanding – now, I can’t confirm this or anything – but it was my understanding that the talks were happening, and [the Hawks are] like, ‘Dejounte, we will send you to Toronto,’” said Raptors Republic’s Samson Folk on the “Game Theory Podcast w/ Sam Vecenie” on January 5. “And he is like, ‘No, let me sign an extension instead.
“I don’t think Dejounte wanted Toronto at all.”
This comes on the heels of a report from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports that the Hawks were no longer considered one of the frontrunners for Siakam in a trade.
“Atlanta has been one of the more active teams on the phones across the league, Fischer wrote on January 5. “That seller’s path becoming more likely has league personnel no longer considering the Hawks as a prominent potential landing spot for … Pascal Siakam.”
Part of the Hawks’ – and other potential suitors’ – hesitation lies in Siakam’s stance on testing free agency if he is traded.
Siakam is in the final year of a four-year, $136.9 million contract.
Murray is still in the final year of his previously signed four-year, $64 million contract. That is notable in trade scenarios. He is averaging 20.9 points on a career-high 56.6% true shooting this season. He is connecting on 38.8% of his deep looks.
But the team is 2-6 in their last eight games and 14-20 on the season. Now, the last time that happened, they went to the Eastern Conference Finals.
That came after reports of locker room turmoil and a coaching change, though.
Hawks appear headed for a trade to jumpstart season
With Quin Snyder joining just at the tail end of last season, it seems unlikely they get a similar spark this season. It will have to come in some other form, and the most likely appears to be a trade at this point.
We have gotten reports of offers exchanged between the Hawks and Raptors, with each side turning the other down.
Murray has not said anything to suggest he’d prefer to be traded.
But he and Trae Young did set expectations coming into the season. Murray’s involved being better than they were last season. The season can still finish that way. But the beginning has been less than encouraging.