A new era in Hawks basketball is here. After securing the face of the franchise in Trae Young some years ago, Atlanta acquired his running mate of the future in Dejounte Murray. Travis Schlenk and Landry Fields sent three first-rounders and Danilo Gallinari to the Spurs for Murray’s services, a steep yet necessary price. Two-way All-Stars don’t grow on trees.
The Hawks weren’t exactly balanced last year. Their offense was exceptional in the regular season but predictable come the postseason. The Heat were able to focus all of their efforts on stopping a Young-centric offense, which was brutal to watch. However, the team was also pretty pathetic on the defensive end of the court, particular at the point of attack.
Atlanta’s two biggest liabilities were solved in one fell swoop. Murray’s skill set complements Young’s perfectly: Dejounte is one of the best defensive guards in the league and can operate an offense efficiently. Despite his poor shooting ability from deep, Murray attacks the rim with conviction and is a menace off the dribble.
The pair make up arguably the best backcourt in the Association, and for Hawks fans eager to buy Murray’s jersey, he’ll don #5 — the same number he wore in San Antonio and college.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 1, 2022
#5 has been a revolving door in Atlanta. Since 2013, seven players have worn the number, the most recent being Kevin Knox. But for a long time in Atlanta, #5 was touted by Josh Smith, who was one of the key pieces of the Budenholzer Hawks. Now, it’ll be Dejounte Murray for the next decade.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire