There’s darn good chance that the San Antonio Spurs will look to move point guard Dejounte Murray this offseason. It’s an interesting dynamic to look at with San Antonio stuck between bottom-end playoff contention and complete irrelevance out west.
What we do know is that the 24-year-old Murray will draw some trade interest this summer. He improved leaps and bounds this past season, putting up career-high totals in points, rebounds and assists. Below, we look at four ideal trade scenarios surrounding the still-young point guard.
Dejounte Murray traded to the Boston Celtics
- Spurs get: Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, second-round pick
- Celtics get: Dejounte Murray
Following the trade of Kemba Walker early this offseason, Boston is now going to be in the market for a point guard. It has been linked to Kyle Lowry in sign-and-trade scenarios and is kicking the tires on a potential Damian Lillard blockbuster. Both seem to be unlikely given the Celtics’ cap situation under new president Brad Stevens. Instead, Boston moves off two rotational pieces for the 24-year-old Murray. He’d be a major upgrade over what Stevens and Co. have on their roster right now. He also worked with new Celtics head coach Ime Udoka in San Antonio.
Speaking of the Spurs, it seems to be clear that they are not looking at a full-scale rebuild under the aging Gregg Popovich. Rather than going that route, an attempt to stay relevant in the Western Conference could be in the cards. It’s in this that acquiring a defensive-minded Marcus Smart to team up with Keldon Johnson and hopefully DeMar DeRozan out on the perimeter could make sense. As for Williams, he’s still only 23 years old and has flashed some upside at center in Boston.
Dejounte Murray trade to the Los Angeles Lakers
- Spurs get: Kyle Kuzma, Talen Horton-Tucker
- Lakers get: Dejounte Murray
This would also pretty much be a no-brainer for the Los Angeles Lakers. Murray is still only 24 years old and had a career-best performance in 2020-21 — averaging 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists on 45% shooting from the field. Being able to acquire Murray without utilizing what could be a valuable Dennis Schroder sign-and-trade adds another element to this for Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, San Antonio finds a happy medium between short-term playoff contention and long-term relevance. By now, it’s known that Kuzma will be dealt this summer after some struggles during the 2020-21 season. With that said, the power forward is still only 25 years old and two seasons removed from averaging nearly 19 points per game. As for Horton-Tucker, the restricted free agent is seen as a rising star among those in the NBA. He’d team up with Keldon Johnson out on the perimeter, acting the part of a traditional two-guard San Antonio needs moving forward.
Dejounte Murray trade to the Philadelphia 76ers
- Spurs get: George Hill, Shake Milton, Paul Reed, future first-round pick
- 76ers get: Dejounte Murray
A lot of this depends on whether Philadelphia trades Ben Simmons. At this point, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist will be moved. If so, getting a ball dominant guard has to be in the cards for front office head Daryl Morey. If it doesn’t happen in a potential Simmons blockbuster, picking up Dejounte Murray could make sense.
On the other hand, San Antonio might demand Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle in this hypothetical trade. I just don’t see it happening for someone of Murray’s ilk. Rather, the Spurs are able to acquire a high-upside 24-year-old guard in Milton who averaged 13 points on 45% shooting in a mere 23.2 minutes a season ago. He could slot in at the two-guard spot initially. Adding a future first-round pick from Philadelphia makes this worth San Antonio’s while.
Dejounte Murray trade to the Chicago Bulls
- Spurs get: Coby White, Thaddeus Young
- Bulls get: Dejounte Murray
Rumors out of Chicago indicate that the Bulls are looking for an upgrade at point guard to help All-Stars Zach LaVine and Nikola Vučević. If general manager Marc Eversley is able to do this, it would set the Bulls up for a playoff run back east with Patrick Williams and Dejounte Murray acting as the other catalysts for the win-now team.
San Antonio pulls a rabbit out of its hat in this hypothetical trade by adding Coby White to the mix. The No. 7 overall pick back in 2019, White has improved in each of his first two NBA seasons. The 21-year-old North Carolina product averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 36% shooting from distance in 2020-21. He’d be the point guard of the short-term and the future. Meanwhile, Young adds veteran experience in the frontcourt.