NBA Trade Rumors: Trae Young Not Valued as Highly as Dejounte Murray by Pelicans

Scott LogoFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2024

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 10:  Trae Young #11 and Dejounte Murray #5 of the Atlanta Hawks react against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter at State Farm Arena on February 10, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Trae Young has been the face of the Atlanta Hawks for years, but the New Orleans Pelicans would reportedly be more interested in his backcourt mate in any trade discussions.

Christian Clark of reported Sunday that New Orleans could see the Hawks as a potential trade partner if it looks for a roster overhaul this offseason. Clark noted that if such discussions pick up steam, the Pelicans would be more interested in Dejounte Murray than Young.

“The 6-5 Murray is not as much of a defensive liability as the 6-1 Young can be,” Clark wrote. “He is also on a cheaper contract; Murray will make $25.5 million next season, while Young is owed $43 million.”

Much of the Pelicans’ offseason will be determined by their decisions with Brandon Ingram.

The forward is entering the final season of his contract and is someone the team could look to either extend with a new deal or trade before he potentially leaves in free agency for nothing in return.

Trading Ingram for one of the two Atlanta guards would still, in theory, keep New Orleans among the contenders in the Western Conference with a trio of Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum and either Young or Murray.

The ceiling of that group and the franchise as a whole would largely rest on Williamson’s ability to stay healthy, which has been a problem for much of his career. However, he played a career-high 70 games in 2023-24 before he was sidelined for the first-round playoff loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a hamstring injury.

When it comes to Young and Murray, it isn’t hard to see either one of them working well with a healthy Williamson in New Orleans.

Young can shoot from well beyond the arc, which draws opposing defenses further away from the rim and creates spacing for someone like Williamson to attack. He could also work in pick-and-rolls and lob situations with the Duke product, especially when doubles come his way.

But Murray can also extend his game beyond the arc and handle the ball in two-man games with Williamson. Williamson also wouldn’t have to worry as much about protecting the rim with Murray since the 2021-22 steals champion can stay in front of ball-handlers at a better rate than Young.

New Orleans figures to be a team to watch this offseason both because of the Ingram situation and the reality it may look to make a move to elevate the ceiling after two first-round losses and a play-in tournament loss the last three years.

Perhaps that will mean adding one of the Atlanta guards, although it may not be the headline one.

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