The NBA offseason is in full swing as the rumor mill has begun to churn as early as the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
For the 29 teams that did not win it all, including the Atlanta Hawks, going back to the drawing board and finding ways to put together a team worthy of contending for the chip is all that matters. The Hawks failed to build upon their success in the 2020-21 season by finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference and eventually getting booted out of the playoffs by the Miami Heat in five games.
As they look to become more competitive in the 2022-23 season, the Hawks are close to getting San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray in a trade deal, WSB-TV sports director and anchor Zach Klein reported, citing unnamed league sources. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.
According to Klein, Murray will be the main piece the Hawks get back, while the Spurs will be receiving a package centered around veteran offensive machine Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks.
The trade certainly looks confusing at first glance because Murray has proven that he could be the guard of the future in San Antonio after having a season where he was named to his first All-Star appearance.
With that in mind, the only rational plan for the Spurs in doing such a lopsided deal is that they will be tanking the 2022-23 season in order to get a high enough pick and hopefully select top prospect Victor Wembanyama.
The 7-foot-4 big man from France has already been projected to be the no. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft as early as now thanks to his combination of skill and mind for the game.
He even went toe-to-toe with 2022 no. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren at the FIBA U19 World Cup Final, which Holmgren and the U.S. side won by just two points – 83-81.
Wembanyama put up 22 points, eight rebounds and an astounding eight blocks during that game, which has NBA scouts closely watching his development ahead of next year’s draft.
The trade is also a major win-win for both sides as the Spurs potentially get to tank without feeling the guilt of stunting Murray’s development, while the Hawks pair up superstar Trae Young with a backcourt buddy who can take some of the scoring load.
If the deal does take place and things work out for both sides, the Spurs get their future franchise cornerstone, while the Hawks get the ideal pairing for “Ice Trae.”