The Hawks haven’t made many moves this offseason. The club acquired Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews for veteran presences off the bench. The new regime also finally pulled the trigger on a John Collins trade, but it was a salary dump that netted virtually nothing of value. It can’t be seen as a positive, although getting the salary off the books is notable. Still, the most important move of the Summer has been the Dejounte Murray extension.
Murray’s extension, which is extremely team-friendly, is the veteran maximum that could be worth as much as $120 million over four years. For reference, Fred VanVleet signed with the Rockets for $130 million over three years in free agency. FVV is, at most, the same caliber player DJM is — though I’d argue he’s worse — and is getting paid more than $10 million more per season. Murray would’ve garnered much more on the open market but decided to stay in Atlanta.
It’s the first move in a long time that the Hawks have made that made me feel like the club is headed in the right direction. It gives the team a stable future under Quin Snyder, but one NBA insider isn’t ready to take a potential trade off the table. Tim Bontemps suggested that the Hawks could still potentially move Murray before next year’s deadline.
“We’ll see if he’s on the team in March,” Bontemps said on the ‘Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective’ podcast. “He could be traded starting sometime in January, and it will be very interesting to see if he’s still on the team after the deadline.”
Now, obviously, Hawks fans aren’t going to take nicely to him saying this. After all, it’s one of the most desirable contracts in all of the Association at this point. Why would the club move an All-Star that is the 58th-highest-paid player (average annual value) in the NBA? It doesn’t make any sense, unless the club is spinning its tires and floundering as the trade deadline approaches.
Even then, I doubt the Hawks move Dejounte Murray. Quin Snyder speaks very highly of him, and Murray’s decision to sign the team-friendly deal was because he wants to be in Atlanta, which Snyder certainly had a hand in. They’ll give the new trio of Murray, Young, and Snyder more than half of a season to work out the kinks.
However, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that two ball-dominant guards in Murray and Trae Young just don’t work out. At that point, if Snyder and the front office don’t think the pair can work together, Murray would be the obvious trade candidate. He’s a two-way All-Star that is on a team-friendly contract; that would fetch a pretty penny on the open market.
Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire