Hawks: Pelicans a team to watch in potential Dejounte Murray trade

NBA: JAN 08 Hawks at Clippers

Since going to the Eastern Conference Finals three years ago, the Hawks have only made one major splash in an attempt to bring an All-Star talent to Atlanta, acquiring Dejounte Murray from the Spurs.

The initial reaction was positive. Trae Young was an emerging superstar fresh off an ECF appearance. Now, he had his first All-Star teammate by his side in the backcourt. There were some concerns about the fit, but it appeared the Hawks were up to something.

Unfortunately, there should have been a lot more questions asked about how the two would play together prior to the trade. Not only have they not lived up to expectations, but they’ve been frankly terrible when on the floor together. Murray isn’t good enough defensively to mask Trae Young’s deficiencies on that side of the floor, and neither has proven effective off the ball.

The result has been two appearances in the play-in tournament without a single playoff series win. The Hawks have gotten worse by the season since making the Eastern Conference Finals, which has most believing that major changes are coming in Atlanta.

A total rebuild is unlikely, given the Hawks don’t own the rights to their own picks following the Dejounte Murray trade, but a shake-up is necessary. One of the two guards has to go, and both will have several potential suitors this offseason.

One team to watch out for in Dejounte Murray trade negotiations is the New Orleans Pelicans. Like the Hawks, they are also in need of some major changes, with many speculating about Brandon Ingram‘s future. Ingram could fit better next to Trae Young on the wing, while Murray would give the Pelicans a legitimate All-Star point guard.

“When you reminded me of the Pelicans and Hawks trade talks before the trade deadline, it’s interesting if it was Dejounte Murray and maybe Onyeka Okongwu or Clint Capela, depending on which big they’d want,” writes Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. 

Because of the situation the Hawks are in, these are the kind of hypothetical deals to keep an eye on this offseason. If the Hawks keep Trae Young, they don’t really have a choice but to try and make their team as competitive as possible. Tanking isn’t an option because they don’t own their own picks, and Young has begun to make it overwhelmingly clear that he is not interested in rebuilding. He wants to win now, and if that’s not possible in Atlanta, it won’t be long before he attempts to force his way out.

Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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