"The Beginning of the End": New Details Emerge About Dejounte Murray Trade

The Atlanta Hawks swung for the fences this offseason and so far, they’ve whiffed big time. By acquiring a fellow star guard in Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs, the Hawks were expected to get over the hump and become a real title contender under the leadership of Trae Young. So sitting in 9th in the Eastern Conference with a 21-22 record is, to put it lightly, a disappointment. But as it turns out, the on-field product might be the least of the franchise’s problems; a recent article suggests that the trade itself was the result of a pattern of internal dysfunction, which led to former president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk leaving the team altogether.
According to a big report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick on Friday, tensions began when 27-year-old Nick Ressler, son of team governor Tony Ressler, began to take a more hands-on role in managing the operations of the team. Ressler, says Amick, was the main voice behind the Dejounte Murray trade, whereas Schlenk lobbied against the trade due to the massive haul it took to acquire Murray. He describes the trade as “the beginning of the end” for Schlenk’s time in the organization, because of how it undermined his authority as president of operations and showed he was not the favored voice in the front office. Schlenk stepped down from his position in December.

At the moment, the Hawks are neck-and-neck with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the “Worst Off-Season Trade” award. The two have nearly identical records and a similar problem; positional gridlock. Likecenters Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, Murray and Young simply haven’t worked together, and it’s easy to see why. Both are both on-ball scoring guards who require high usage rates and an offense designed around themselves alone. If the Hawks want to make some real long-term positive change, though, it might have to start with a shake-up in the administration. 

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