The New York Knicks might be one of the most active NBA teams this summer. Amid rumors that they are about to land one of the league’s top free agents, the Knicks are reportedly eyeing a player who had an even better 2021-22 season.
The Knicks have expressed interest in acquiring San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. Murray has been at the center of trade rumors in the days leading up to free agency.
The news comes less than 24 hours after ESPN reported that New York is the favorite to sign Jalen Brunson. The Knicks reportedly agreed to trade Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks to the Detroit Pistons, clearing enough cap space to offer Brunson a four-year contract worth around $110 million.
Brunson is already a fait accompli — and can confirm Knicks interest in Dejounte Murray — as reported by @TheSteinLine last week and @IanBegley today. Who wouldn't be interested? Some execs think it's a smoke screen. Murray has two years at $16m per left on his current deal.
— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) June 29, 2022
Brunson impressed in the 2022 playoffs, particularly when Luka Doncic was injured. Murray outperformed Brunson in the regular season, posting career highs of 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. At 25 years old, Murray led the league in steals and was selected to his first All-Star team.
New York could have plenty of competition for Murray. Zach Klein of ABC Atlanta has reported that the Spurs and Atlanta Hawks have held serious trade talks about Murray. The Hawks would likely have to part with multiple first-round picks in order to get a deal done.
Knicks first-round picks:
*Their own 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027
* Mavs 2023 pick protected 11 thru 30, then 11-30 next two years if not already settled
* Pistons 2023 pick protected 19 thru 30, then 19-30 in 2024, then 14-30 in 2025, then 12-30 in 2026, then 10-30 in 2027
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 29, 2022
With rights to nine first-round picks over the next five years, the Knicks might be able to make San Antonio a competitive offer. The Spurs have missed the playoffs in three straight years and could be looking to rebuild for the future.
According to Begley, some with the Knicks have discussed Murray’s potential fit on the roster. Brunson and Murray could be a significant upgrade in New York’s starting backcourt.
Murray has two years and more than $33 million left on his contract.