NBA Rumors: "Whispers" That Atlanta Hawks Dangling Star Player In Trade Talks

The Atlanta Hawks made a huge move last offseason sending multiple first-round picks and Danilo Gallinari for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray. But it appears that the Murray-Trae Young backcourt experiment could end after one season. 

According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, luxury tax troubles may force the Hawks to make a move. And while forward John Collins, as always, is on the trade block, and maybe even Trae Young, so, too, is Murray.

Some whispers abound that Dejounte Murray could be had in the right deal.

Murray is due $18.2 million this season but may not be open to an extension limited to a $25.4 million starting salary. Unless Atlanta can shed significant salary elsewhere, they may not be able to afford Murray at his current price, let alone on a new deal in his likely asking range above $30 million.

Pincus notes that Atlanta has a payroll projected to be in the $172M range, which would translate to about $16.4M in luxury taxes or more.  

Did the Murray-Young backcourt work? That depends on what the Hawks' goals were coming into the season. If it was hoped to take them to the upper echolon of the Eastern Conference and a deep playoff run, it didn't happen. They struggled to make the play-in, then lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics. 

Murray had a strong season however, averaging 20.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists, but going into the final year of his contract, it appears he's pricing himself out of the Hawks' range. 

One team that's been linked to a Murray trade is the Houston Rockets, who are looking to re-tool with established veterans this summer, and could certainly use a legit long-term answer at point guard, and one who plays defense, like Murray.

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