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Dejounte Murray Trade Grades: Hawks get ‘A’ for pairing All-Star with Trae Young; Incomplete Spurs branding

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The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to trade Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three future first-round picks and one future first-round pick trade, CBS Sports HQ’s Bill Reiter confirmed Wednesday. The Spurs will get a 2023 first-round pick through the Charlotte Hornets, and unprotected 2025 and 2027 first-round picks through the Hawks. The trade of selections between the Spurs and the Hawks will be in 2026.

Murray, a late first-round pick in 2016, is coming off the best season of his career, in which he led the league in steals and made the All-Star Game for the first time. He averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and two steals on 46.2 percent shooting from the field. All of those marks were career highs for him. The Hawks will now pair him with Trae Young to form one of the best young backcourts in the league.

As for the Spurs, they’re pivoting toward a rebuild, one they hope will set them up with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and the chance to take Victor Wembanyama. The 7-foot-2, 18-year-old French big man is widely seen as a generational prospect and has already impressed as a professional in his native country.

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Let’s rate the trade.

falcons

To receive:

After their surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2021, the Hawks looked to be a team on the rise. Instead, they took a step back last season and had to pull off a huge comeback against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the entry tournament just to sneak into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed.

In January, when the team was still teetering below .500, general manager Travis Schlenk gave an interesting interview in which he admitted to reading too much into his 2021 playoff run. “Maybe I need to lower my expectations for this team.” Schlenk said. “I have to accept the responsibility that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to bring everyone back. That’s up to me.”

At that point, it was clear that regardless of what ended up happening during the closing months of last season, the Hawks were in for a transformative summer. To his credit, Schlenk didn’t wait long to put his words into action and has acquired one of the most versatile young guards in the league.

To what extent the Hawks will be able to challenge entrenched contenders at the top of the East remains to be seen, and it will depend on what other moves they make this summer, but they are much better now than they were before the trade. . Here’s a look at the boost Murray gives them based on projections from SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh:

no murray

41.2

54.6%

1.6%

with murray

44.0

71.6%

4.8%

Impact

+2.8

+17.0%

+3.2%

Murray, who led the league in steals last season, is one of the best perimeter defenders thanks in large part to his incredible 6-foot-10 wingspan. He will be able to cover for some of Trae Young’s problems on that side of the ball, and single-handedly improve a Hawks defense that finished 26th in the league last season and allowed 113.7 points per 100 possessions.

Additionally, Murray is a talented midfielder and is coming off his most efficient scoring season. It’s worth noting, though, that he’s better off finishing around the rim or scoring from midrange, and he shot just 32.7 percent from 3-point land last season. That brings up perhaps the most interesting aspect of the trade, which is that he would appear to need Young to play off the ball more than ever in his career.

Young, who shot 48.1 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s last season (though only one per game), is more than capable of it. However, he will require some serious involvement from a player who is used to having the ball in his hands more than anyone else in the league. Plus, it will be interesting to see how that affects the Hawks’ offense. For all their defensive issues, they scored at will last season, finishing second in the league with 115.4 points per 100 possessions behind Young’s potent pick-and-roll approach.

But for whatever growing pains there may be next season, this trade was a no-brainer for the Hawks. They got a rising 25-year-old All-Star so they will be some late first-round picks if all goes according to plan.

Grade A

Spurs

To receive:

  • Danilo Gallari
  • 2023 first-round pick via Charlotte Hornets
  • 2025 first-round pick via Atlanta Hawks (unprotected)
  • 2026 first-round pick trade via Atlanta Hawks
  • 2027 first-round pick via Atlanta Hawks (unprotected)

When the Spurs traded Derrick White to the Boston Celtics for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick (who became Blake Wesley) and a 2028 first-round pick trade at the trade deadline Last season, it was a bit of a surprise. Now, however, we can see it as the first step in a takedown.

They continued to dismantle their roster Wednesday by trading Murray, who is one of the most exciting young guards in the league and coming off the best season of his career. There’s no hiding his intentions at the moment: Spurs are diving headfirst into the Victor Wembanyama draw.

It’s hard to blame them. Wembanyama, a 7-foot-2, 18-year-old Frenchman, is one of the most intriguing prospects to ever hit the world stage. His ridiculous combination of size, length and coordination make him a destructive defensive force that can challenge every shot at the rim and more than defend on the perimeter. Offensively, he is a constant lob threat and has shown impressive touch away from the basket. (For more, check out this breakdown from our very own Kyle Boone.)

If the Spurs’ tank succeeds and they end up with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, then this could become a league-altering trade. Wembanyama has a chance to be that special. However, the deal is gambling heavily on winning the draft lottery, which is no guarantee given the new reduced odds.

You could have the league’s worst record by 10 games and still easily end up picking No. 3. There would still be a good player available in that pick, but not Wembanyama. If that happens, you’re really banking on the Hawks falling apart in a few years, something that’s less likely now that they have Murray.

The 2023 pick via the Hornets is likely to be in the middle of the first round, and the 2025 pick via the Hawks will also be in the back half of the first round. The 2026 pick trade and the first of 2027 through the Hawks are too far in the future to discuss with certainty, but there’s a good chance neither is particularly significant. In that very realistic scenario, you didn’t get much for an All-Star guard going into his prime.

Of course, the Spurs know all this, just as they know that by keeping Murray (and White) they would be left spinning their wheels in mediocrity. Going with Wembanyama is a risk, but the potential reward could change his franchise forever. Only time will tell if his bet comes through.

Rating: Incomplete

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