June 16, 2024

Perfect Dejounte Murray trade Knicks must offer Hawks

Rumors are floating around that the New York Knicks have their sights set on Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. Ian Begley of SNY described Murray as “an ideal trade target” for the Knicks, who are looking to make an upgrade to improve their chances of competing in the Eastern Conference.

New York is having a pretty solid season so far with a 17-13 record. Jalen Brunson is in the midst of his best season yet and should be on track to making his first All-Star team. Meanwhile, Julius Randle has shed the ghost of his early-season struggles and is playing All-NBA level basketball once again. Still, it feels like the Knicks are a piece or two from being considered legitimate threats to the upper-echelon teams in the East, such as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics.

The curious case of Dejounte Murray and the Spurs - Pounding The Rock

On the other hand, several executives around the league reportedly expect the Hawks to shop Murray before the trade deadline. Atlanta’s season is going nowhere and there is belief that the Hawks might look to split up the backcourt tandem of Murray and Trae Young.

The Knicks should be an ideal suitor for Murray considering their need for more starpower to go up against the other top-heavy teams in the East. The wiry guard would be a terrific fit in New York with his two-way play. With that said, here is the perfect trade the Knicks should make for Dejounte Murray.

This deal will send Dejounte Murray to New York to form a solid All-Star caliber trio alongside Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. Murray certainly raises New York’s ceiling and will take them a step forward in the positive direction. Furthermore, he is a proven star who is able to contribute in various facets of the game.

Why Dejounte Murray trade makes for the Knicks

Head coach Tom Thibodeau has a penchant for defense. However, New York’s play on that side of the floor hasn’t been as sharp as he likes it to be over the last couple of seasons. This season, the Knicks are just 16th in defensive rating, giving up 114.9 points per 100 possessions.

Dejounte Murray | Atlanta Hawks | NBA.com

With Murray’s defensive acumen, he should instantly become one of Thibodeau favorites. Thibs loves players who bring tenacity, energy, and hustle on that side of the floor — and Murray fits the bill perfectly. The 27-year-old made the All-Defensive team in the 2017-18 season and also led the league in steals during the 2021-22 campaign.

Murray has also developed into a well-rounded offensive talent. He has become a consistent 20-point scorer over the last three seasons. In each year, he has improved his efficiency as a scorer. His true shooting percentage has gone from 53.3 percent in 2021-22 (his last season in San Antonio) to 54.0 percent in 2022-23, to 55.7 percent this season.

Likewise, though still not a lights out sniper, he has improved significantly as an outside threat. Murray is shooting a solid 37.4 percent from beyond the arc this season on a decent volume of 6.2 attempts per game.

Apart from his scoring, Murray is also an adept creator for both himself and for his teammates. He once averaged 9.2 assists per game during the 2021-22 season, his final year with the Spurs.

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