Hawks Blog: Dejounte Murray can make Atlanta a title contender

The Atlanta Hawks significantly bolstered their roster, after trading for San Antonio Spurs’ star guard Dejounte Murray in late June.

As part of the trade, the Hawks received Murray and Jock Landale. On the other hand, the Spurs landed Danilo Galliari, a 2023 first-round pick (via Charlotte from New York, protected), a 2025 first-round pick, a 2026 pick swap and a 2027 first-round pick.

The All-Star guard has his sights set on fighting for the championship and Hedgeout.net presents two reasons that show how Murray can make the Hawks a title contender.

Defensive improvement

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Dejounte Murray has been one of the best two-way players in the NBA. He has been impressive on both ends since returning from an ACL injury in 2018.

The All-Star guard has been a great on-and off-ball defender and that’s one of the main reasons that led the Hawks to trade for him.

“The focus was to improve defensively. Bringing in Murray allows us to do that. His length at the guard position will allow him to play against the top wings. He can do a good job of keeping the ball in front. But he can chase as well. That was the thing that we felt we needed to improve on the defensive end of the floor.

Offensively, he gives us another weapon that can play with the ball, play without the ball and we love that combination,” Atlanta head coach Nate McMillan recently said, via Soaring Down South.

With the Hawks being one of the worst defensive teams last season, Murray’s arrival will help Atlanta become an above-average squad on defense.

Dejounte Murray Spurs
Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Dejounte Murray can become the best pairing for Hawks’ superstar Trae Young

Dejounte Murray has elevated his game offensively over the past three seasons. Since 2019, he has significantly improved his scoring, going from 10.9 points per game in 2019/20 to 15.7 points in 2020/21 to 21.1 points per game in the 2021/22 season.

Last year, he averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists and his all-around playing style can let him create a superstar duo with Trae Young.

Murray has the ability to spend a lot of time with the ball in his hands, which will allow Young to play off the ball more.

“He’s a two-way player and a guy that plays downhill. We have, with him in the backcourt with Trae…Trae really wanted us to make that move. We saw that we could get him. Trae really wanted him to be a part of our team. And I told Trae, ’what this is going to do is allow us to play you off the ball a little bit more’. Real similar to [Thomas] and [Joe] Dumars.

You got two guards that now can play with the ball, play off the ball. That combination, the fact that he can defend multiple positions, allows us to play faster,” McMillan added.

For his part, Trae Young had nothing but high praise for Murray and believes the All-Star guard can make Atlanta a championship contender.

“I just know what type of player he is. I know what he can bring to our team. I wanna win championships in Atlanta. I think he can ultimately help take us to that level.

We’ve been in the playoffs, we’ve been on a run, but I think he can take us to that next level,” Young said on teaming up with Dejounte Murray, via Sports Talk Atlanta

Trading for Dejounte Murray is certainly an upgrade to Atlanta’s backcourt line and the Hawks now need to make some more offseason moves to further bolster their roster and solidify themselves as title contenders next season.

Even though they know it will take a while for Trae Young and Dejounte Murray to work on their on-court chemistry, once this happens, their backcourt line will become one of the best in the NBA.

Trae Young Dejounte Murray Hawks
AP Photo/John Bazemore

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