New Blockbuster Three-Team Trade Proposal Sends Paul George To Atlanta, Dejounte Murray to Clippers

Could the Atlanta Hawks try and make a trade for Paul George this offseason?
Mar 17, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks guard Vit Krejci (27) in the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks guard Vit Krejci (27) in the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA offseason is in full swing and the first big trade went down on Thursday when the Chicago Bulls traded Alex Caruso to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Josh Giddey. There are sure to be more trades and moves coming and the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans, and Clippers forward Paul George are going to be talked about a lot over the next couple of weeks.

The Atlanta Hawks have a lot of decisions that have to make over the course of the offseason. They hold the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, they are likely going to need to make a decision on the Trae Young/Dejounte Murray backcourt, and other players such as Clint Capela, De'Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic could be available. The front office for Atlanta has a lot of important decisions to make and this team is likely going to look much different in the coming weeks.

New Orleans was swept in the first round at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder and are looking to shake up their roster this offseason. Both teams are looking to reshape their rosters and they have pieces that the other needs. New Orleans needs a point guard to run the offense and pair with Zion Williamson, while Atlanta needs wing players to give them more size. The two teams have been written about as natural trade partners and there is a lot of sense that could be made in a lot of different trades between the two teams.

Paul George could be the best free agent on the market and he was being heavily linked to the Philadelphia 76ers, but that does not look like it is going to be an option.

There are few teams with large amonts of cap space that can sign George to a big contract and he could opt into his contract with the Clippers and ask to be traded. Despite his age and his past injury history, George is still a high-level two way player and he won't have a shortage of suitors.

Could the Hawks be one of those teams?

Atlanta has not been mentioned as a destination for George, but it does make sense if George opts into his player option and asks to be traded to Atlanta. The Hawks have some pieces that could intrigue the Clippers and that would be intriguing fits. There is also a way for the Hawks to trade Capela and get back players as well if they bring in a team like the Pelicans.

Speaking of Capela, he was mentioned earlier this week by the Action Network's Matt Moore as someone that the Pelicans, Bulls, Wizards, and Grizzlies have interest in trading for. None of these teams (other than the Bulls perhaps) are surprising to hear, as they have been rumored to be looking for a center upgrade.

Here is what Moore had to say about Capela, as well as a note on the No. 1 pick and Young/Murray:

"No one knows who Atlanta is taking with the No. 1 pick (and The Athletic's Sam Vecenie reported he doesn't believe the Hawks know yet). However, as the Hawks debate how to reshape their team going forward, changes — but not a complete teardown — are expected. In particular, the Hawks are expected to trade one of Trae Young or Dejounte Murray, but not both. They'll keep one to build around.

Clint Capela is a popular trade target with the Grizzlies, Wizards, Pelicans and Bulls having expressed interest."

What about a three-team deal that helps everyone out? It should be noted that this is just speculative and a fun exercise to see what kind of moves can be made, not what I think a team should definitely do. That is all.

Here is the trade:

Hawks Receive: Paul George, Dyson Daniels, Larry Nance Jr

Clippers Receive: Dejounte Murray, De'Andre Hunter

Pelicans Receive: Clint Capela

The Hawks get a high-level two-way player to put with Trae Young, Jalen Johnson, and the No. 1 pick. If the Hawks took UConn center Donovan Clingan and made this trade, the defense for the Hawks would take a massive leap forward. If the Hawks took Zaccharie Risacher, he could come off the bench while the Hawks would still have Onyeka Okongwu at center. The Hawks would be a much better team.

If George does not want to return to the Clippers, what is the realistic return for the Clippers? They could do much worse than Murray and Hunter. Murray fitting with James Harden (assuming he re-signs) would be something they have to figure out and Hunter struggles with injuries and consistency. Still, Hunter just had the best offensive season of his career and shot a career-high from three.

New Orleans has been rumored to be interested in Capela and this would get them their center without having to give up a lot. If the Hawks take Clingan and Okongwu is traded, Nance is a backup center and Dyson Daniels could be a nice two-way guard next to Young.

Is the trade likely? Probably not. The Hawks have not been linked to George in any way and the offers for him from other teams could offer them better assets. Like I said, assuming the Clippers re-sign James Harden, would he and Murray fit together? Would the Clippers want Hunter?

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks. Atlanta, New Orleans, and Paul George are going to be mentioned a lot until something transpires.

Jackson Caudell


Jackson Caudell covers the Atlanta Hawks and Georgia Tech Athletics for FanNation