In case you've missed it, the New York Knicks are reportedly one of the teams interested in acquiring Dejounte Murray. There's been a lot of chatter about the guard's future in Atlanta, leading many to believe he could be traded before the February deadline.
NBA insider Marc Stein confirmed on Jan. 5 that the Hawks are exploring trade possibilities for Murray (subscription required) and that the Knicks have been "increasingly mentioned as a team with Murray interest. Ian Begley reported on Dec. 24 that some within the organization view the guard as "an ideal trade target."
New York traded for OG Anunoby on Dec. 30 without losing a first-round pick, proving that the Knicks are preparing to go all-in on a star.
New York fans have been debating whether or not Murray would be worth trading for, something that wouldn't be known until well after the deal happens (if it does).
Pros of a Knicks-Hawks Dejounte Murray trade
The most obvious pro is that Murray is a scorer. He's averaging 20.9 points per game, shooting 46.7% from the field and 38.4% from three (both are career highs). He hasn't been a strong three-point shooter since entering the league in 2016, but this season, he's been more efficient from deep.
Especially if he can keep that level of three-point shooting up, Murray's worth the Knicks' consideration. He's 27 (the same age as Jalen Brunson), so he'd be someone who could be in New York long-term. Speaking of Brunson, it'd be hard to stop the Knicks' backcourt scoring punch.
Murray's a player New York was interested in before he was traded to Atlanta in the 2022 offseason, and that interest hasn't subsided. There's a belief that he could be that player for the Knicks, and he could certainly help them as soon as the 2024 playoffs, so what could go wrong?
Cons of a Knicks-Hawks Dejounte Murray trade
Murray is no longer a strong defender. To be fair, neither is Donovan Mitchell, another guard New York has on its radar. When the Knicks were strongly pursuing Mitchell two offseasons ago, many questioned the defensive capabilities of a Brunson-Mitchell backcourt. The same can be said for a Brunson-Murray backcourt.
Another issue is Murray's contract. A few months ago, he signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Hawks that runs through 2027-28 (a $30.8 million player option). The Knicks would surely have to give up several first-round picks (they have four unprotected) and young talent (like Quentin Grimes). He doesn't have a superstar resume, so would he be worth New York doing so?
In 21 playoff games, Murray has averaged 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. Sixteen of those games were played during his first two seasons in San Antonio, while he averaged 23 points on 44.7% shooting from the field and 37.8% shooting from three in five games with the Hawks last year.
No matter who the Knicks trade for, it will be a gamble. That's how it goes when you push your chips onto the table. Even a trade for the reigning MVP wouldn't guarantee success, as he's struggled in the postseason.
Another thing about Murray that shouldn't greatly affect a trade, but would, is his representation. He's a Klutch client, and Begley reported that unless Murray were to request a trade to New York specifically, Rich Paul is "reluctant to do business with the Knicks." How would those trade talks go?
Murray's young, and he's talented. Any star player that hits the market is a player the Knicks have to consider, given their positioning. If the front office feels like Murray is the guy they've been waiting for, he could be a Knick in the coming weeks or months. However, the cons outweigh the pros, but that doesn't always stop a trade from happening.