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Dejounte Murray, Trae Young reportedly want to play together: How a trade could work

Andrew Buller-Russ

There’s no guarantee the San Antonio Spurs actually trade Dejounte Murray, their face of the franchise, but there is a lot of smoke suggesting he may be available for the right price. Ditto for John Collins, possibly being on the move from the Atlanta Hawks, though his departure seems much more likely.

Even though the 2022 NBA Draft has already occurred, the Spurs aren’t a team primed to take a massive step forward as is, which means anything could happen, even a Dejounte Murray trade.

Meanwhile the Hawks already see themselves as a contender, and will only look to build an even stronger roster built to win now over the offseason. This could make the Hawks and Spurs ideal trade partners, should either star, Murray or Collins, get traded over the summer.

Then, there’s this nugget from Jake Fischer, who suggested Murray and Ice Trae would actually like to team up together, which likely means pairing up in Atlanta.

“I know that Dejounte and Trae want to play together, or at least have interest in doing it.”

Jake Fischer

Many players have an interest in teaming up, especially stars, but it rarely actually comes to fruition. Yet, there’s reason to believe Murray might be able to be pulled away from San Antonio. It all depends on their willingness to deal.

Related: 3 ideal Dejounte Murray trade scenarios from San Antonio Spurs

How a Dejounte Murray trade to Atlanta Hawks could look

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at San Antonio Spurs
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Even if it may be a longshot, how might a trade, pairing up Dejounte Murray and Trae Young together in Atlanta work out?

It’s been said that the Spurs are looking for three first-round picks in return for Murray, but as we’ve seen in past trades, that could just as easily change, depending on the total package. For instance, if a player like John Collins were offered, in addition to a pick or two, well that might be enough to strike a deal.

  • Hawks get: Dejounte Murray
  • Spurs get: John Collins, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick (via Charlotte)

Both picks, the Hawks, and the Hornets’ should fall after the lottery, meaning the Hawks could be getting Murray for swapping out Collins, who could possibly be disgruntled in Atlanta anyway, plus two picks that may fall in the 20s.

Why would the Spurs have interest? They could be looking to sell high on Murray, coming off career-best numbers where he became a first-time All-Star. Murray may be relatively affordable now, but he’s also eligible for a max-level contract, which the Spurs may not be willing to offer.

Collins, on the other hand, is locked in through 2024-25, starting at $23.5 million in 2022-23. In this unique case, the Spurs may prefer having the long-term security of Collins at his existing price, knowing he won’t suddenly become more expensive as Murray is set to do.

Both players are talented, one could argue the Spurs got more out of Murray last season, but who’s to say Gregg Popovich can’t help Collins take his game to the next level as he’s done with so many other professional basketball players over the years?

The Spurs might just take the cap savings in addition to the extra draft picks, while getting back a young player who already plays at a high level in Collins. It could be a win-win.

For the Hawks, they get Murray, who would be a perfect pairing with Ice Trae. Everyone talks about how Young is a defensive liability, but Murray’s excellence on that end could help offset the superstar’s weakness.

Not to mention, adding another ball-handling distributor who can still keep defenses honest, as a career 33% 3-point shooter, Murray would help take Atlanta’s offense to the next level, while allowing Young to shine in his natural role, which is as a shot-maker.

If Murray is actually on the trade block, there may not be a better fit out there for the Hawks than Dejounte Murray.

Related: 3 reasons why a John Collins trade makes sense for the San Antonio Spurs