• Dejounte Murray has been traded to the Hawks for three first-round picks and Danilo Gallinari
  • Murray will form an explosive backcourt alongside Trae Young and his three-point shooting
  • Atlanta's experiment could still backfire if they cannot retain Murray's services in the long term

The San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks made the first big blockbuster trade of the offseason as first-time All-Star Dejounte Murray has been shipped off to the Eastern Conference.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski disclosed that the Spurs are set to receive veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks and a 2026 pick swap.

In addition, the picks were later revealed to be the Hawks’ own 2025 and 2027 first-rounders plus the Charlotte Hornets’ 2023 first-round pick.

It was previously reported that the Spurs were going to move Murray in the hopes of getting top 2023 NBA draft prospect Victor Wembanyama.

That certainly seems to be the case now for the Spurs as they enter the 2022-23 season with much less talent than they fielded last season after they also traded point guard Derrick White to the Boston Celtics.

But for the Hawks, this puts them in prime position to compete with the East’s elite teams as the backcourt pairing of Murray and Trae Young are set to do big things while sharing the floor.

Murray is not as good a shooter as Young is, but his ability to slice through the defense and get buckets right in the teeth of the defense is going to provide the Hawks with a more versatile offense than the one they had in the 2021-22 season.

The former Spur was also last season’s steals leader thanks to his defensive IQ and long reach, something that the Hawks can leverage into something great.

Having Murray be part of a starting five with Young, forward John Collins and center Clint Capela puts them in a much better place to succeed.

However, the experiment could blow up in their faces still in the future.

Murray works best as the lead ball-handler as he can find ways to get his teammates involved.

It is the same role as Young does for the Hawks already, and while it can work, the number of touches both guys get is going to have to be split almost evenly.

The Hawks also need to be careful with managing their cap space as Murray will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason of 2024, where they will have to pay him while still building a championship-worthy roster around him and Young.

Atlanta has a primetime backcourt this season, and with Collins’ name still swirling around the rumor trade mill, what the Hawks do next will be interesting to see.