Hawks Made Mistake Not Trading Dejounte Murray

Dejounte Murray, Hawks, NBA
Feb 5, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dribbles past LA Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks were one of the teams who sat out the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. Despite needing a shake-up and having plenty of rumors swirling, Atlanta didn’t end up pulling the trigger on any deals.

In some ways, this made sense. The Hawks’ biggest trade chip, Dejounte Murray, should have an even bigger market in the offseason. More teams will be looking to make a move and offers will theoretically be stronger as more draft picks will become available to franchises.

However, for the 2023-24 NBA season, not trading Murray was a big mistake. The Hawks can hope for positive regression all they want, but the numbers don’t lie; the combination of Trae Young and Murray isn’t one yielding positive results.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Dejounte Murray, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Until that duo is broken up, it is hard to imagine the Hawks making any positive progress. Atlanta had hopes of Murray being a player capable of handling the ball more, enabling Young to play off-the-ball, which his skill set would seemingly benefit from. 

Murray is also regarded as a stout defender, which Young is not. In theory, pairing the two together works on paper. But, NBA games aren’t played on paper, they are played on the court and the results have been poor.

As shared by NBA University on X, heading into the NBA trade deadline and out of 40 qualified lineups, the Hawks had two of the worst five-man lineups in the league. Young, Murray, Saddiq Bey, Jalen Johnson and Clint Capela, who have played 601 minutes together, have compiled a net rating of -14.3.

That is the second-worst lineup with at least 300 possessions this season. The only one worse is from the Washington Wizards with Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Bilal Coulibaly, Kyle Kuzma and Daniel Gafford at -16.1 on 337 possessions.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Dejounte Murray, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Seventh on the list is another Hawks lineup. This one is Young, Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Johnson and Capela. In 365 minutes, that lineup has recorded a net rating of -4.3. Two of their most used lineups both landing on this list explains a lot about Atlanta’s struggles.

The Hawks are the only team with a lineup that appears on the list more than once. The Indiana Pacers are the only team on there with a lineup that has a winning record this season, and they did something to shake it up ahead of the deadline.

Bruce Brown was traded to the Toronto Raptors as part of their blockbuster acquisition of Pascal Siakam. No such trade was made by the Hawks, or even a deal to upgrade on the fringes, which likely means more underwhelming basketball in the final 2.5 months of the season.

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