Hawks, Pelicans Finalize Trade Featuring Dejounte Murray

Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks, NBA Trade Rumors
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans bolstered their backcourt by acquiring Dejounte Murray in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks after the NBA Draft and ahead of free agency.

The Pelicans will send two first-round picks — a 2025 selection via the Los Angeles Lakers and a 2027 selection (the least favorable between Milwaukee’s and New Orleans’ own) — to the Hawks in exchange for the 27-year-old Murray. Additionally, Larry Nance Jr., E.J. Liddell, and Dyson Daniels were sent to Atlanta.

Murray is coming off a stellar season with the Hawks, where he averaged a career-high 22.5 points, made a career-best 201 three-pointers, and contributed 6.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game in 74 starts alongside Trae Young.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

This trade concludes the brief Murray-Young era in Atlanta after just two seasons. The Hawks still owe the Spurs unprotected 2025 and 2027 picks, as well as an unprotected 2026 pick swap.

Murray was traded to the Hawks in 2022 in exchange for three first-round picks from the San Antonio Spurs, with Atlanta hoping to solidify its backcourt. However, Atlanta never achieved success.

Since moving to Atlanta, Murray has significantly improved his three-point shooting. During his five seasons with the Spurs (excluding 2018-19 due to a torn ACL), he made 218 three-pointers at a 33.0% clip. In two seasons with the Hawks, he hit 334 threes, peaking at 36.3% in the 2023-24 season.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Murray’s four-year, $114 million extension, signed last offseason with Atlanta, will start soon. He is set to earn $25.3 million next season, with a player option for $31.3 million in 2027-28.

The Pelicans, who recently picked up team options on Jose Alvarado and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, are now hard-capped at the first apron. New Orleans has 12 players under contract, sitting $2.6 million below the luxury tax and $8.5 million below the first apron.

Questions about Brandon Ingram‘s future with the Pelicans were already raised before they traded for Murray. Now, that conversation only intensifies. Their roster is set to become very expensive with a lot of talent on the wing between Trey Murphy III and Herb Jones.

Murray was an All-Defensive Team honoree in 2018 but has seen a reduced impact since. He was rarely guarding the opposing team’s best player in Atlanta with the team focused on preserving his energy to be one of the offensive focal points. Could he revert back to becoming a more defensive minded player with so many talented players around him in New Orleans?

Daniels, the No. 8 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, has shown defensive promise, averaging 1.4 steals in just 22.3 minutes per game last season. The 6-foot-8 guard also averaged 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Between Zaccarie Rissachauer, Kobe Bufkin, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, there are a lot of questions now about the backcourt rotation going forward for Atlanta.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Nance, acquired as part of the CJ McCollum trade in 2022, has battled injuries but managed 5.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season as the Pelicans’ backup center. He was often relied on as a switching option, but he lacks many intangibles as a rim protector, is not great at containing the ball, and has a limited offensive skill set.

Liddell, a standout at Ohio State, suffered knee ligament tears during a summer league game in 2022 and missed the subsequent season. He appeared in eight games this past season for New Orleans but has a lot to prove in the NBA level if he’s going to become a mainstay.

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