The Atlanta Hawks were the second best offensive team in the NBA this past season. Trae Young had the best season of his career, averaging 28.4 points and 9.7 assists per game on 46/38.2/90.4 shots. He has kept his team’s attack going all season despite several injuries. Among players who have scored three or more attempts with three points per game in the Hawks’ regular rotation, seven shots are better than 36 percent from behind the arc.
However, the Miami Heat stopped it all in the first round of the playoffs. They chased Young across the field for five games, making him deliver one of the worst playoffs in NBA history from a star player – 15.4 points and 6.2 turnovers per game on 31.9/18.4/78.8 shooting splits. The Heat have kept the Hawks’ explosive attack below 100 points in three of their five competitions, taking advantage of the Atlanta attack’s stark weakness:No Creators outside shuffle to the side of Young.
It looks like the Falcons are trying to correct this problem by adding another star to the squad. Ovarian Report Jake Fisher WSBTV Sports Director Zack Klein They report that the Hawks are trying to trade for Dejounte Murray. Both say the current show is Danilo Gallinari and several first-round picks.
For the San Antonio Spurs, that’s actually a good idea. They’ve lost out on the playoff two seasons in a row, and that’s the most that can go with their roster as it is currently built. Tottenham have never been the most attractive destination for a free agent, certainly not with a mediocre side. With additional first-round picks, they can rebuild in the draft, and possibly choose Victor Wimpanyama in the 2023 NBA Draft. They would never get a pick high enough to do so with Murray on the roster.
For the Hawks, they instantly have the best backcourt in the NBA. Murray is 6 feet 4 feet tall, but has a wingspan of 6 feet 10 feet. He’s explosive, cunning, a great playmaker, and he’s still getting better. His 2021-22 season was his best to date, averaging 21.1 points, 9.2 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Also, not only will he be able to give Young some rest as head coach, but the opposing defenses won’t be able to focus on him the way the Heat did in the playoffs. It wouldn’t be a “my turn, your turn” attack with the two, as Murray is able to play without the ball in his hands. He was 27th in the NBA in terms of usage this past season, 17th short of all the other stars and Spurs traded their second-best ball handler – Derek White – at the deadline.
It will also make Young more of a threat to the ball. With Murray running offense that would allow the Hawks to work Young in acts like the Golden State Warriors team up with Stephen Curry, sending defenders off screens three times. Adding Murray to the roster will likely see Young finally score a better than 40 percent of three for the first time in his NBA career.
Defense as a whole is a problem for the hawks. They had the ninth worst defensive rating in the NBA this past season. Murray – 2nd Team All Defense in 2017-18 – and De’Andre Hunter on the periphery, putting pressure on opposing ball handlers and making Clint Capella’s life much easier while protecting the paint, would give the Falcons the respected defense they need to make a real run in The Eastern Conference steadily improved.
Trading for Murray is a move contenders make. The Hawks haven’t been considered regular competitors since Dominic Wilkins was flying off the rafters in The Omni. Three picks in the first round are certainly worth it for Murray, and if the only player they have to let go is Galinari, the starting lineup of Young, Murray, Bogdan Bogdanovic, John Collins and Capella challenges the Miami Heat at least for the top spot in the League Southeast Division next season.
Even if the Hawks have to part with Kevin Huerter in place of Gallinari, they should strike a deal. It’s the best shot they’ve had to take serious off-season treatment to improve on their roster since they signed with Dikembe Mutombo in 1995. Murray takes the Hawks from the joy of watching, to a team that wins over 50 teams. If this trade takes place, it will probably be the most important move in the off season. Hawks don’t get as many opportunities as these, so they better not blow them up.