San Antonio’s most significant discussions regarding Murray have seemed to occur with the Atlanta Hawks, in a framework that would send Collins back to the Spurs, league sources told B/R. San Antonio and Atlanta have kicked around that deal concept at least dating back to the February trade deadline. Atlanta, among other offseason goals, has explored various options to add a dynamic ball-handler and defensive partner alongside Trae Young in the Hawks’ backcourt, sources said. Ironically, the first indications of Atlanta’s efforts to find a superior teammate for Young in the Hawks’ guard rotation were when New Orleans made Holiday available back in 2020.
Trade conversations stemming from Thursday night’s NBA draft have brought a long list of veteran players into the forefront of the early offseason, where Jerami Grant, John Collins, Rudy Gobert, OG Anunoby and upcoming free agents like Jalen Brunson and Deandre Ayton have dominated chatter among league executives.
A new name to arise in various trade discussions on Wednesday: San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Dejounte Murray, whose cryptic eye-emoji tweet set the internet ablaze on Tuesday.
The Spurs are fielding offers for Murray and have told multiple interested teams it would take a “Jrue Holiday-like package” for San Antonio to part with the 25-year-old floor general, setting a rough benchmark of three first-round picks for any suitor to pry Murray free.
Other teams presently known to be aggressively searching for point guards are the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, while the Minnesota Timberwolves have actively explored the market for D’Angelo Russell trade scenarios, sources told B/R.
Murray is coming off an exceptional year in San Antonio, where he earned his first All-Star nod and flirted with season-long averages of a triple-double: 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game. However, there is a sense among NBA executives that San Antonio is still open to an extended rebuild, and Murray’s inevitably expensive contract extension is already looming on the horizon. His current four-year, $64 million deal is set to expire in 2024, and Murray is expected to command a maximum salary in line with his current production and skill progression.
For Collins, Atlanta’s known motivation to move the talented forward has swirled around the league, with San Antonio, Sacramento and Utah—in a potential swap for Gobert—considered the most legitimate potential landing spots for the 24-year-old. Portland’s Wednesday night acquisition of Grant from the Detroit Pistons, and the Trail Blazers’ priority of dealing the No. 7 pick for Anunoby, would seem to make Portland a less likely destination for Collins, despite frequent trade conversations between the Blazers’ and Hawks’ front offices.