Spurs trade Dejounte Murray to Hawks for Gallinari, two first-round picks

The Spurs have traded Dejounte Murray to the Hawks for Danilo Gallinari and two first-round draft picks. Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the 2025 and 2027 first rounders are unprotected picks for the Hawks. In the trade, the Hawks are sending the Spurs their 2023, 2025 and 2027 first-round picks. Also, San Antonio will receive a pick swap in 2026. This move will certainly help improve Atlanta’s defense.

In a total of 68 games played with the Spurs last season, Murray averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Trae Young will finally receive help in the backcourt. Per one reliable source, Murray wanted to play with Young at some point. Now they can win together in Atlanta, knock on wood.

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Last season, Trae Young averaged 28.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game in 76 games played. He was also selected All-NBA Third Team for the first time of his NBA career. The two-time All-Star turns 24 in September.

The Spurs could not afford Dejounte Murray

Furthermore, Murray signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension with San Antonio on Oct. 21, 2019. He earned $15,428,571 last season and is set to make $16,571,429 for the 2022-23 season. The Spurs never would have been able to re-sign the guard to a maximum contract extension a few years from now. So, now the team can undergo a much needed rebuild.

On Jan. 12, 2022, Murray scored a career-high 32 points in the Spurs’ 128-124 loss to the Rockets. After the Spurs defeated the Pelicans 124-114 on Feb. 13, the guard became the first NBA player to finish with at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and less than two turnovers in consecutive games. San Antonio traded for Danilo Gallinari because they cannot put off a rebuild any longer under coach Gregg Popovich.

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The Hawks still need to trade John Collins

Additionally, Murray placed second in voting for the NBA Most Improved Player Award. In the 2020-21 season, the guard averaged 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 67 games played. Ever since Kawhi Leonard left, Murray has improved his game each year.

Moreover, NBA analysts are wondering why Hawks G.M. Landry Fields chose not to package John Collins in this trade deal. Perhaps the Spurs didn’t want to take on his salary. On Aug. 6, 2021, Collins signed a five-year, $125 million deal with Atlanta. He will earn $23.500 million for the 2022-23 season. That should explain a few things.

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