Dejounte Murray Trade Grades: Hawks get ‘A’ for pairing All-Star with Trae Young; Spurs stamp incomplete

The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to trade Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three future first-round picks and one future first-round pick swap, CBS Sports HQ’s Bill Reiter confirmed Wednesday. The Spurs receive a 2023 first-round pick via the Charlotte Hornets and unprotected first-round picks in 2025 and 2027 via the Hawks. The Spurs-Hawks pick swap occurs in 2026.

Murray, who was drafted late into the first round in 2016, has enjoyed the best season of his career, leading the league in steals and making the All-Star Game for the first time. He averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and two steals while shooting 46.2 percent from the field. All of those grades were career highlights. The Hawks will now pair him with Trae Young to form one of the best young backcourts in the league.

As for the Spurs, they are pivoting towards a rebuild – one they hope will set them up with the first pick in the 2023 NBA draft and a chance to take on Victor Wembanyama. Widely regarded as a young talent, the 7’2, 18-year-old Frenchman has already impressed as a professional in his home country.

Let’s evaluate trading.



After their surprise entry into the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, the Hawks appeared to be an up and coming team. Instead, they took a step back last season and had to make a big comeback against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament only to sneak into the playoffs as No. 8.

In January, with the team still floundering below .500, GM Travis Schlenk gave an interesting interview in which he admitted reading too much into their 2021 playoff run. “Maybe I need to lower my expectations of this team” said Schlenk. “I have to accept that responsibility that maybe bringing everyone back wasn’t such a good idea. It’s up to me.”

At this point, it was clear that whatever happened in the final months of last season, the Hawks were in for a summer of transformation. To his credit, Schlenk didn’t wait long to put his words into action and brought in one of the most versatile young guards in the league.

How far the Hawks will be able to challenge established rivals at the head of the East remains to be seen – and will depend on what other moves they make this summer – but they’re a lot better now than they were pre-trade. Here’s a look at the boost Murray is giving them, based on SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh’s predictions:

Without Murray




With Murray








Murray, who led the league in steals last season, is one of the best full-backs out there, thanks in large part to his incredible 6ft 10 wingspan. He’ll be able to solve some of Trae Young’s problems on that side of the ball to cover, and will single-handedly improve a Hawks defense that ranked 26th in the league last season and allowed 113.7 points per 100 possessions.

In addition, Murray is a talented playmaker and is having his most successful season. However, it’s worth noting that he lands best around the perimeter or scores from the middle, scoring just 32.7 percent from 3-point land last season. This brings up perhaps the most interesting aspect of the trade, which is that Young has to play the ball more than ever before in his career.

Young, who averaged 48.1 percent on catch-and-shoot threes last season (though only on one per game), is more than capable. However, it requires a serious buy-in from a player used to having the ball in his hands more than anyone else in the league. Also, it will be interesting to see how that would affect the Hawks’ offense. Despite all their defensive woes, they scored at will last season and finished second in the league at 115.4 points per 100 possession behind Young’s strong pick-and-roll approach.

But for all the growing pains that next season may bring, this trade was a no-brainer for the Hawks. They have a 25-year-old All-Star on the rise for a couple of late first-round picks if all goes to plan.

Class: A



  • Danilo Gallinari
  • 2023 first round pick over Charlotte Hornets
  • 2025 first-round pick over Atlanta Hawks (unprotected)
  • 2026 first-round pick swap over Atlanta Hawks
  • 2027 first-round pick over Atlanta Hawks (unprotected)

When the Spurs traded Derrick White to the Boston Celtics for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick (which became Blake Wesley) and a 2028 first-round pick trade at the close of trade last season, it was a bit like a surprise. However, now we can consider it the first step in a teardown.

They cut their roster further on Wednesday, trading in Murray, one of the league’s most interesting young guards, and enduring the best season of his career. There’s no hiding their intentions at this point: Spurs dive headfirst into the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.

It’s hard to blame them. Wembanyama, a 7-foot-2, 18-year-old Frenchman, is one of the most intriguing prospects to perhaps ever make it onto the world stage. His ridiculous combination of size, length, and coordination make him a devastating defensive force that can challenge any shot to the rim and more than hold his own on the border. He is a constant threat of praise offensively and has shown impressive touches off the basket. (For more, Check out this breakdown from our very own Kyle Boone.)

If the Spurs tank succeeds and they pick No. 1 in the 2023 NBA draft, it could count as a league-changing trade. Wembanyama has a chance to be very special. However, the deal places a lot of bets on winning the draft lottery, which isn’t a guarantee given the new flattened odds.

They could have the worst record in the league with 10 games and still easily finish 3rd. With that selection, there would still be a good player available, but not Wembanyama. If that happens, you’re really betting on the Hawks falling apart in a couple of years – something that’s less likely now that they have Murray.

The 2023 poll on the Hornets will likely come in the middle of the first round, and the 2025 poll on the Hawks numbers will also come in the back half of the first round. The 2026 and 2027 first pick-swap over the Hawks are too far in the future to discuss for sure, but there’s a good chance neither is particularly meaningful. In this very realistic scenario, you didn’t get much for an All-Star Guardian coming into his prime.

Of course, Spurs know all this, just as they know that if they kept Murray (and White) they would be spinning their wheels in mediocrity. Going all-in for Wembanyama is a risk, but the potential payoff could change their franchise forever. Only time will tell if their bet will hold up.

Note: Incomplete