Atlanta Hawks: Next few games could determine Dejounte Murray's trade deadline fate

What will the NBA Trade Deadline hold for the Atlanta Hawks and Dejounte Murray?
Murray's name has come up in trade talks lately.
Murray's name has come up in trade talks lately. / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks have a franchise-altering decision to make on Dejounte Murray.

The Atlanta Hawks front office executives should strongly reconsider trading away guard Dejounte Murray. Despite the team compiling a 19-27 record and currently sitting in 10th place in the East, it's not too late for the Hawks to finish strong and fight for a spot in the playoffs.

There really isn't any logic in giving away one of the best two-way guards in the league. Murray is currently averaging 21.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game and has come up clutch as he has two game-winning baskets this season.

To trade away Murray simply isn't going to change anything for the Hawks. They would likely only be offered a player who may have talent and potential but it is doubtful they get back a player who is close to Murray's caliber. The Hawks probably could capitalize the most by any draft capital they could get back so they would have to wait for their return on investment either way.

In today's NBA, with all of the analytics, inflated stats, and the insane uptick in scoring and offensive production we have seen this year, the Hawks are among the best offenses in the league statistically. If the Hawks can produce points and score with the best of them, then why have they lost so many games? On the flip side of things, the Hawks are one of the worst defensive teams, and just as fast as they can accumulate points, their opponents are scoring even more than they average.

On the offensive end, the Hawks average 120.2 points per game while they are allowing 123.3 per contest. The Hawks also own the 4th worst defensive rating, are the 6th worst defensive rebounding team, and are 27th in blocked shots per game. Other concerns for the Hawks are that they rank in the NBA's bottom third of teams in opponent's points off turnovers, 5th worst in opponents 2nd chance points allowed, have allowed the 3rd most to opponents on the fast break, and are 4th worst in opponents points in the paint per game.

The case for keeping Dejounte Murray

Murray is the one player the Hawks have other than Deandre Hunter who does possess some type of defensive value. Trae Young is the franchise player the organization has decided to build around and rightfully so but the Hawks have to realize the gem Murray is. Quin Snyder and his staff must make his players take accountability on the defensive end and having Murray around for the foreseeable future instead of trading him could help Snyder establish a more defensive-minded team in Atlanta.

It would be wise for the Hawks to evaluate the situation and take their time regarding whether to give up on Murray. Even if the deadline expires and no transaction for Murray is completed, he is on a team-friendly contract for the next few seasons. If the Hawks decide to keep Murray and if things don't go as planned and the Hawks miss the playoffs, they could still explore a trade in the offseason when teams have more financial flexibility, therefore making it easier to facilitate a deal and get back true value instead of settling for less in return.

It would be a premature move to give up a player like Murray and not even get back half of what the Hawks gave up to get him.

Tough road ahead for the Atlanta Hawks

With a little less than half of the season remaining, the Hawks have enough games remaining to make a significant jump in the standings but it won't be an easy task. The Hawks are currently in a home stand where they have upcoming games against the Lakers, Suns, Warriors, and Clippers all in a 7-day stretch.

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After that the Hawks embark on an important trip to the East Coast to face 2 of the top teams in the NBA in the Celtics and 76ers. The Hawks front office could decide exactly what they are going to do after this important stretch of tough games. The result of these games could define the Hawks' season and it will remain to be seen whether Murray remains in a Hawks jersey or will he be playing in another city by the season's end.