A big reason why the NBA Trade Deadline wound up being underwhelming was because Dejounte Murray stayed put with the Atlanta Hawks. The All-Star guard was rumored in trade talks for months as the Hawks sat in Play-In positioning, but no teams met Atlanta's asking price. With Murray staying put, the best player moved was Bojan Bogdanovic. A solid player, but far from a difference-maker like Murray.
While the Hawks opted to hold onto Murray for now, that doesn't mean he'll be in Atlanta for the duration of his contract. The Hawks currently sit at an underwhelming 24-29, tenth in the Eastern Conference. They're closer to being out of the Play-In Tournament entirely than they are at getting the eighth seed.
The backcourt featuring Trae Young and Murray sounded good on paper, but has not worked at all in the way Atlanta envisioned. Murray is having his most efficient season offensively, shooting 46.6% from the field and 37.2% from three-point range, but his defense has taken a step back, and the Hawks have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA as a result of that.
Barring a massive shift in play, the Hawks are primed for, at best, another early exit from the postseason. If that does happen, trade talks could easily pick up once again with Murray, and teams that showed interest in acquiring the guard at the deadline could resurface.
Dejounte Murray trade can happen this offseason if the Hawks don't improve drastically
The Los Angeles Lakers were the team most linked to Murray, as D'Angelo Russell was really struggling and the Lakers were in a Play-In spot. The Lakers remain in Play-In positioning, but Russell has played really well over the last month, and the Lakers opted to hold onto him rather than trade the few assets they had for Dejounte.
The New Orleans Pelicans entered the Murray sweepstakes and seemed very interested as the deadline approached, but no deal came to fruition. Those two teams can come into the spotlight this offseason if a Murray trade gets discussed, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
A Murray trade becomes a bit harder to execute this offseason with his contract extension kicking in. The 27-year-old's contract will go from $17.7 million this season to $24.7 million next season. Matching that contract isn't impossible, but obviously becomes harder without giving up key pieces.