Atlanta Hawks Dejounte Murray Out for Wednesday's Game Against Minnesota Timberwolves

The Atlanta Hawks will be without their biggest offseason splash for at least one more game. The team declared via the NBA Injury Report that Dejounte Murray will miss a second straight game with a non-COVID illness.

Murray has been an ironman for the Hawks this season, appearing in 66 games and leading the team in minutes played (2403). The team bet the farm this offseason in the hopes that he might raise their ceiling, trading multiple first-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs for his services. Unfortunately, his solid play (20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game with a .537 true shooting percentage) hasn't been truly difference-making. The Hawks are 36-36 and eighth in the Eastern Conference.

The Hawks still have a chance to claw their way out of the play-in tournament, but an extended postseason run appears unlikely, and they have little cause for hope of a significant improvement in the near future. Trading for Murray depleted their draft and cap resources, and two-time All-Star Trae Young appears to have plateaued: his points per game (26.8) and true shooting percentage (.573) have plummeted from last year's impressive marks (28.4, .603). Barring a massive levelling up from someone already on the roster, the Hawks appear to be stuck in the middle of the pack for a long, long time. 

Murray's next chance to return will be on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.

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