NBA Trade Rumors: Dejounte Murray sweepstakes just a two-team race?

The list of suitors for Atlanta Hawks point guard Dejounte Murray is shockingly small.

Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks
Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The NBA trade deadline is four days away. The buzziest name on the market is Atlanta Hawks point guard Dejounte Murray, despite protestations from his head coach, logic and circumstance points to Murray getting dealt.

One would expect the former All-Star to have a robust list of suitors, but that's not the case. Yahoo's Jake Fischer, in a recent appearance on Marc Stein's podcast, said only the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz have made "actual offers" for Murray.

It's clear the market is turning on Atlanta a bit. The reported asking price for Murray is two first-round picks, but the 27-year-old's reputation has suffered with the Hawks. His defense is on the decline — or at least in a lull — and he's not successfully featured in an offense that runs through Trae Young.

Also of note, Murray's four-year, $114 million extension kicks in next season. That's not an exorbitant price for Murray, but teams tend to shy away from major long-term investments at the trade deadline. Especially if it's unclear whether or not a player can truly move the needle.

Murray is averaging 21.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists on .468/.368/.836 splits in 35.0 minutes for Atlanta. We know he's capable of running the show and putting up numbers as a top option, but it's unclear whether or not Murray can truly flourish in a secondary or tertiary role. That is the question interested teams are kicking around.

Lakers and Jazz only teams to make "actual offers" for Hawks' Dejounte Murray

The contents of these "actual offers" are unknown. The Lakers reportedly discussed a trade package centered on D'Angelo Russell and their 2029 first-round pick, but the Hawks need a third team to absorb Russell's contract. Until that third team materializes, those talks are dead in the water.

Utah has a metric ton of draft capital from the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell trades. The Jazz are hovering around the play-in tournament due to Lauri Markkanen's star power and the innovative scheming of head coach Will Hardy. That's a theoretically strong place for Murray to flourish as a true lead ball-handler. He's a solid fit next to Collin Sexton and Keyonte George in the backcourt, in theory.

That said, the Jazz are considered potential sellers and could follow their 2023 teardown blueprint at the trade deadline, opting to tank for a prominent draft pick instead of boosting the roster. Murray would be viewed as more of a placeholder than a franchise cornerstone in Utah. The Jazz shouldn't necessarily be prioritizing that kind of move, especially if the price is high.

Los Angeles is at a disadvantage if the bidding for Murray picks up. A motivated Utah front office can easily outbid Rob Pelinka. The Lakers only have their most distant first-round picks to dangle, while Austin Reaves is the only tradeable contract worth positive value (aside from LeBron James and Anthony Davis). If the Lakers aren't going to consider moving Reaves to Atlanta, the deal gets hard. Teams aren't lining up to take Russell's contract off Atlanta's (or Los Angeles') books.

There's still time for more offers to roll in for Murray. The Knicks, Pistons, and Bucks are among the other teams linked to Murray over the past few weeks. We will see if Atlanta can actually recoup the value necessary to part with their second fiddle.

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