Final piece from Dejounte Murray trade creates logjam for Hawks

NBA: APR 01 Hawks at Bulls

The Dejounte Murray trade was finalized over the weekend. The deal between the Hawks and Pelicans was agreed to in principle, but it couldn’t be made official until New Orleans met Atlanta’s financial obligations, which was satisfied in the form of a former top five draft pick.

Cody Zeller is being signed-and-traded to the Atlanta Hawks from the New Orleans Pelicans, as part of the Dejounte Murray trade, a league source told @spotrac,”

The 31-year-old Zeller was the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets), where he spent the first eight seasons of his career. The 7-footer offers rim protection and creates a logjam for Atlanta.

Zeller’s sign-and-trade will carry a three-year length, and the Hawks already have Clint Capela, Onyeka Okongwu, and Bruno Fernando in the fold. The veteran Capela seems like the most obvious choice to be moved.

He is entering the final year of a two-year, $46 million contract and has been mentioned frequently in trade rumors. Okongwu is entering the first of a four-year, $61.9 million contract and is a former lottery selection himself. Fernando’s guaranteed salary date was pushed back to July 10th, so if something happens with the backup center, it could be in the next 48 hours.

The Hawks should still try to recoup more assets for Clint Capela, who is surely going to leave in free agency next offseason with Okongwu as a natural replacement. There’s no way the Hawks go into the season with all four under contract.

Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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