Inside Hawks-Pelicans Trade Featuring Dejounte Murray: What’s Next?

Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks, NBA Trade Rumors
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Dejounte Murray experiment in Atlanta ended, with the Hawks trading him to the New Orleans Pelicans. While rumors swirled about potential NBA trade scenarios, the eventual move surprised many, especially considering the package.

After an overachieving trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, Hawks management cashed in their chips. However, Trae Young and Murray could not gel together, ending their run with a sub-500 record. The question now becomes: Where does each side go from this?

What’s Next After the Dejounte Murray Trade?

The eventual return for a star embroiled in trade rumors was relatively straightforward. A quality rotation piece in Larry Nance Jr. and a developing young prospect with star potential in Dyson Daniels. They also acquired two first-round picks for a quick rebuild to sweeten the deal further.

In the meanwhile, the Pelicans have a lanky defensively stout PG while not going terribly over the luxury tax. However, the trade does present some interesting questions for the men in the Smoothie King Center.

New Orleans Pelicans: On the one hand, rumors of a Brandon Ingram split ran like wildfire throughout the second half of the season. But, with acquiring Murray, a C.J. McCollum pairing would be counterintuitive. With Jonas Valanciunas entering free agency and losing Nance too, the team has a hole to fill at the Center position as well. Expect to see the team make peace with Ingram and instead look at trades for McCollum.

Atlanta Hawks: Rather than going for an unusual two point guard lineup, the Hawks are pivoting to a tried and tested model for their near future. With the likes of Ja Morant, or more recently Jalen Brunson, with the Grizzlies and the Knicks respectively, finding success around long 3-and-D wings, Atlanta has a recipe in place.

A Most Improved Player candidate in Jalen Johnson, De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu, and now Daniels and Nance are the elite role players that Ice Trae needs around him. Further, first-overall pick Zaccharie Risacher, at 6-foot-9 with a smooth jumper, enhances the model.

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

With a clear plan in place, Atlanta does look better suited for the immediate and long-term future. Despite a relatively smaller haul than expected for Dejounte, the Hawks had a clear plan in mind, and by the looks of it, are executing it to perfection.

Potential Trade Partners For Pelicans

New Orleans is almost guaranteed to look for a dance partner for either McCollum or Ingram. As detailed above, the former Trailblazer makes more sense, given the roster construction.

With the Lakers seemingly part of every trade talk, a potential move to La La Land could be in the books for either. But an intriguing name for Ingram could be the Golden State Warriors. They could pivot to BI for similar production after seemingly missing out on the Paul George sweepstakes.

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

On the McCollum front, a reunion in Portland could also come up. In addition to the feel-good story, the plethora of Centers would be the ideal trade piece that the Pels are in search of. With DeAndre Ayton, Robert Williams III, and now Donovan Clingan, the Blazers could check all of NOLA’s boxes.

Where do you think New Orleans goes from here? Let us know in the comments below.

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