The Atlanta Hawks are listing guard Dejounte Murray as questionable for Wednesday night's game in Boston. While Murray is a very good player and a former All-Star, his status wouldn't be overly notable on most days, but today is the last time NBA teams will take the court ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. Murray is arguably the most likely "big-name" player to move. One book favors Los Angeles Lakers (-150) to be Murray's next team if he is traded.
In June 2022, the Hawks gave up three future first-round picks and a 2026 first-round pick swap to get Murray from San Antonio. The guard was coming off his first All-Star season. In the 2022-23 campaign with Atlanta, Murray averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, making him one of just three players to average at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.5 steals along with stars Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Murray also joined Lenny Wilkens (1967-68) as the only Hawks players to hit those benchmarks in a single season.
Duly impressed and not wanting to lose Murray to free agency, the Hawks signed him last summer to a four-year, $114 million extension – so why would they want to trade him now? Things just aren't working with a Murray-Trae Young backcourt, and Young isn't going anywhere. Atlanta did reach the first round of the 2023 Eastern Conference playoffs after winning a play-in tournament game, but was then eliminated in six games by Boston.
The current Hawks are 22-28 and 10th in the East, so the best they can likely hope for is a spot in the play-in tournament again considering they are six games out of the No. 6 seed. Essentially, the front office wants to rebuild on the fly by getting a good player and draft picks back for Murray, who this season is averaging 21.4 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds. He remains a very good defender and is the only player in the NBA to have notched at least 100 steals in each of the last four seasons (38 shy this year).
We could see a few players listed questionable or out around the NBA on Wednesday because a trade could be close. The Lakers reportedly are cooling a bit on Murray as their own guard, D'Angelo Russell, has been playing much better of late. CBS Sports' Bill Reiter is reporting that the Lakers may hold off on making a major trade because they have their eyes set on Cleveland's Donovan Mitchell this summer.
Utah is the +250 second favorite to be Murray's next team. The Jazz did make a trade Wednesday to potentially open a roster spot, sending reserve forward Simone Fontecchio to Detroit for a 2024 second-round pick – although the Pistons also sent back Kevin Knox as salary filler. Knox could simply be waived. The Lakers and Jazz are the only two teams known to have made concrete offers to Atlanta for Murray.
Boston, a 12.5-point favorite, is listing Jrue Holiday as questionable. The offseason acquisition is dealing with a right elbow sprain, which could explain why Holiday is averaging just 7.5 points in two games this month. The Celtics' big move was getting Holiday but they made another solid trade today in landing big man Xavier Tillman from Memphis for two second-round picks. That likely takes Boston out of the running for rumored guys like Kelly Olynyk or Andre Drummond.
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