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Hawks Go All-In on Exciting Trae Young-Dejounte Murray Backcourt

Ryan Phillips
San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks
San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks / Casey Sykes/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Hawks are acquiring Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks, plus a pick swap in 2026. It's a massive move from Atlanta as the franchise is going all-in on its backcourt. The move will make Young happy and could pay off big time in an increasingly crowded Eastern Conference.

Murray will arrive in Atlanta following the best season of his career. He notched career-highs in points (21.1), rebounds (8.3), assists (9.2), steals (2.0) and minutes (34.8) per game during the 2021-22 campaign. He set career-best marks in PER (22.32) and true shooting percentage (53.3).

Murray was a late first-round pick in 2016 and has developed slowly. That fact winds up helping the Hawks as he has two years remaining on the four-year, $64 million deal he signed in October of 2019. Given his numbers, he's an absolute steal financially, which is why Atlanta had to give up so much to pry him loose.

Young is 23 and Murray is 25. They will form one of the best young backcourt tandems in the league. While Young is a scorer who drives the team's offense, Murray is a hard-nosed defender who had to develop into a scorer for the lowly Spurs. He'll take on the role as a two-way player and will likely need to become a better shooter if the Hawks are going to challenge as contenders in the East. That will be a chore.

Murray only shot 32.7 percent from 3-point range last season and hit only 31.7 percent from beyond the arc during the 2020-21 campaign. If he's going to be playing off of Young, those numbers will need to increase. But other than that, he's an excellent complement to what the Hawks' All-Star can do.

This was a bold move by the Hawks. The Spurs are tearing it all down in hopes of snagging the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and landing French big man Victor Wembanyama. Atlanta took advantage in an attempt to create something special in the backcourt.

It's a big gamble. We'll see if it pays off.

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