Atlanta Hawks Reportedly Trade Dejounte Murray to Pelicans

Dejounte Murray

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks have reportedly agreed to trade All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the New Orleans Pelicans. In a significant exchange, the Pelicans will send the Hawks first-round draft picks in 2025 and 2027, center Larry Nance Jr. and guard Dyson Daniels.

The 2025 first-round pick originates from the Los Angeles Lakers, an unprotected selection acquired in the Anthony Davis trade, while the 2027 pick will be the less favorable one between the Pelicans’ and the Milwaukee Bucks’ selections.

Hawks Struggled to Compete in the East

Dejounte Murray, in his eighth NBA season and second with the Atlanta Hawks, posted an impressive stat line of 22.5 points, 6.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. The 27-year-old guard, who made his All-Star debut in the 2021-2022 season, originally joined the Hawks after spending six seasons with the San Antonio Spurs.

In a bold move to secure Murray, Atlanta traded away three first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027) and a 2026 pick swap, signaling a strong commitment to forming a potent backcourt duo with point guard Trae Young, who is known for his offensive prowess.

Despite these high expectations, Murray and Young’s partnership did not yield the desired results. In the 2022-23 season, the Hawks finished with a .500 record of 41-41 and were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The following season saw a further decline, with the team recording a 36-46 finish and suffering an early exit in the play-in tournament. This underperformance under Murray and Young’s leadership highlighted Atlanta’s challenges in achieving the team dynamics and success they had hoped for.

Pelicans Looking to Compete, Hawks Switching Gears

Murray signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Hawks just last offseason and is now set to join a Pelicans squad looking to bolster its lineup, which already features key players like Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and CJ McCollum. This move marks a significant shift for the Pelicans as they aim to strengthen their team dynamics and make a serious push in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the trade indicates a strategic pivot for the Hawks as they move on from a player they had previously acquired to advance their competitive prospects.

Adrian Wojnarowski highlighted that the New Orleans Pelicans see Dejounte Murray as a key asset for generating offense late in games, a critical aspect they aim to enhance with his acquisition. The team remains firmly committed to its core players, Williamson and McCollum, as it continues building a competitive team around them. However, there are ongoing negotiations concerning Ingram, as the team and Ingram are still “trying to find common ground” regarding his contract.

Since trading away Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans have been methodically rebuilding their roster, aiming to return to playoff contention. This strategy culminated in a commendable 49-33 record last season. However, despite this success, they still needed to navigate through the play-in tournament to secure their playoff berth.

The Pelicans’ season concluded with a disappointing first-round sweep by the Oklahoma City Thunder, highlighting the team’s deficiencies. This outcome made it clear that gaining additional experience wasn’t sufficient for the Pelicans to impact the competitive Western Conference significantly. This realization likely influenced their decision to pursue significant roster changes, such as trading for Dejounte Murray, to strengthen their core and enhance their chances of deeper playoff runs in future seasons.

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