Hawks Send Dejounte Murray to Kings in Gutsy Mock Trade

The Sacramento Kings could look to pair a star with De'Aaron Fox in their backcourt.
Apr 14, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) in the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) in the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2024 NBA Draft just two weeks away, trade talks will continue to heat up leading up to draft night. The Sacramento Kings are among the many teams expected to shake up their roster this offseason, with Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma a name that comes up often in rumors.

While a player like Kuzma could be a difference-maker in Sacramento, could the Kings aim higher and snag an All-Star? With the Atlanta Hawks expected to shop each of their high-level guards in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, the Kings could be a team to swoop in and find a star pairing for De'Aaron Fox.

If the Kings expect to lose star sixth man Malik Monk in free agency and want to replace him with an elite guard, prying Murray from Atlanta on draft night could be a fantastic option. Here is what a potential deal for Murray could look like:

Sacramento Kings receive: Dejounte Murray, AJ Griffin

Atlanta Hawks receive: Harrison Barnes, Keon Ellis, Sasha Vezenkov, 2024 13th-overall pick

The Kings getting Murray to pair with Fox in an All-Star backcourt could be game-changing, especially with Keegan Murray, Domantas Sabonis, and a select power forward to round out the starting lineup.

In his second season as a Hawk, Murray averaged 22.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game with 45.9/36.3/79.4 shooting splits. Murray spent his two years in Atlanta primarily playing off-ball to Trae Young, as he would fall into a similar role next to Fox in Sacramento, except with a better supporting cast around him.

Murray is an exceptional defender with an elite offensive sense, whether that is being a shot-creator or setting it up for his teammates. While Murray might be more effective with the ball in his hands, his high-level play could complement Fox and Sabonis as the primary distributors.

The Hawks would get three rotational players and Sacramento's first-round pick this year in return. Barnes is a veteran forward who would give Atlanta necessary wing depth, while Ellis showed the league his immense potential as a two-way presence. Through 21 games started this season, Ellis averaged 8.8 points shooting 40.4% from deep while defending the opposing team's best guard.

With reports around Sasha Vezenkov's desire to leave Sacramento, the Bulgarian forward could find a more prominent role in Atlanta. Similarly, while AJ Griffin has not verbally requested to leave the Hawks, the sophomore wing saw an 11-minute-per-game decrease from his rookie season and could potentially revive his career in Sacramento if given the chance.

While this package might not be enough to pry Murray away from the Hawks, the Kings should not give much more for a Fox-Murray backcourt experiment that might not work as expected. Murray, 27, is making $114 million over the next four years, so the Kings would not want to get stuck with his contract if the experiment fails.


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Logan Struck

LOGAN STRUCK

Logan Struck is the Deputy Editor for Inside the Kings - SI.com's team website following the Sacramento Kings.