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NBA Insider Makes Surprising Claim About Hawks Trade Plans

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, 2024 offseason trade candidate

The Atlanta Hawks enter the 2024 offseason with several pressing questions. However, the main focus remains the backcourt pairing of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

Two rail-thin lead guards with the potential to be primary playmakers, the fit between Young and Murray has gone about as well as expected. Offensively, their talents are undermined when asked to play off-ball. Defensively, neither can be relied upon to stop opposing point guards at the point of attack. Their lack of muscle mass prevents them from consistently guarding up the lineup.

As a result, the Hawks are widely expected to trade one of Young or Murray this offseason.

It’s not a new idea as Atlanta was on the verge of trading Murray last summer before extending his contract. Entering the offseason, the Hawks front office was said to be monitoring Young’s behavior due to concerns about his intangibles.

Yet, last year, Atlanta would have been expected to keep Young if given the chance. That may not be the case this time around.

NBA Insider Makes Surprising Claim About Hawks Trade Plans

“They are going to try hard to trade Trae Young. That’s going to happen,” NBC Sports insider Kurt Helin tells Sportnaut’s Jason Burgos.

“But from people I’ve talked to around the league these calls often go something like this,” he claims, “‘Trae Young, yea, what would that [trade] look like? By the way, is Dejounte available?’ People in the league just like Dejounte’s game better.”

“Where Trae Young doesn’t defend, demands the ball; he scores a lot of points, gets a lot of assists, will bring your offense up — he’s an All-Star [and] borderline All-NBA offensive player — but there’s a sense that you can’t really build a true winner around him.

You could with Dejounte. They’ve got to move one of them, it obviously doesn’t work. But it’s going to be interesting to see what they might ultimately have to settle for to move Trae.”

To Helin’s point, Young has proven more than Murray offensively.

A three-time All-Star, Young is already the Hawks’ all-time leader in career assists and 3s. Averaging 25.5 points and 9.5 assists per game while shooting 35.5 percent from 3 since being drafted in 2018, he’s been the driving force of Atlanta’s offense for half a decade.

Before being traded to the Hawks, Murray’s best offensive season saw him averaging 21.1 points and 9.2 assists per game. That was in 2021-22, his sole All-Star season. However, while he’s long been an efficient scorer, he’s not a natural 3-point shooter. As a result, he shoots 45.8 percent from the field for his career but 34.5 percent from deep.

Yet, in 2023-24, Murray made 36.3 percent of his long-distance attempts. It was his first season shooting above 36 percent from 3 since 2019-20. Reminding the NBA world about All-Star-caliber talent when Young was sidelined with a finger injury, he averaged 24.5 points and 8.7 assists per game after the All-Star Break.

Though more keen on taking midrange jumpers than has become the norm, he’s proven that he’s capable of being a go-to player himself. When factoring in that he’s a more reliable defender, in large part due to how well he uses his 6-foot-10 wingspan, it’s not hard to see why he’d be seen as easier to build around than Young.

The Last Word on the Hawks Trade Plans

Ultimately, the Hawks should hold onto Murray.

It isn’t the popular choice for many Hawks fans given the special moments that he’s had with the franchise. However, business is business and Atlanta is in the business of building a championship-contender. At this juncture, it’s become clear that the best way for them to do that is trading Young or Murray.

Of the two, Murray has surprisingly emerged as the better option.


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