Hawks dealing Murray to Pelicans, sources say

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The New Orleans Pelicans are adding Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray to their backcourt, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday.

The Pelicans are trading forwards Larry Nance Jr. and E.J. Liddell, guard Dyson Daniels, a 2025 first-round pick via the Los Angeles Lakers and the least favorable of a 2027 first-round pick from either the Milwaukee Bucks or their own to the Hawks for the 27-year-old Murray, who just completed his second season in Atlanta.

Murray averaged a career-high 22.5 points in 2023-24 for the Hawks while also making a career-best 201 3-pointers. He averaged 6.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds while sharing the backcourt with fellow star Trae Young.

In 2022, Atlanta sent three first-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs for Murray with hopes of building its backcourt of the future. However, it didn’t pan out the way the team hoped; the Hawks never made it past the first round of the playoffs with the two.

In 2021-22, as the lead guard in San Antonio, Murray averaged 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds and a league-leading 2.0 steals per game.

Since moving to Atlanta, Murray has seen his 3-point shot develop in a big way.

In five complete seasons with San Antonio — Murray missed the 2018-19 campaign with a torn ACL — he made 218 3-pointers while shooting 33.0% from distance. He hit 334 in his two seasons with Atlanta, topping out at 36.3% in 2023-24.

Murray’s four-year, $114 million extension, signed last offseason with Atlanta, has not kicked in. He is set to make $25.3 million next season and will have a player option for $31.3 million in 2027-28.

The Pelicans, who earlier Friday picked up the team options on Jose Alvarado and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, are now hard-capped at the first apron. They have 12 players under contract and are sitting $2.6 million below the tax and $8.5 below the first apron, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

New Orleans was 0-22 when entering the fourth quarter while trailing last season and saw a huge drop-off in production in clutch games — defined as the score being within five points with under five minutes left in fourth quarter or overtime — with an offensive rating (101.5) that ranked 26th in such moments. The Pelicans’ minus-12.1 net rating in clutch games ranked 24th in the league.

Murray, though, should help there.

He hit 40 clutch field goals last season, fifth most in the NBA. He also hit three go-ahead shots in the final five seconds of fourth quarter/overtime, tied with Stephen Curry for the most in the league.

Murray and Nikola Jokic were the only players to record 1,500 points, 500 assists and 100 steals last season. Murray also joins Luka Doncic as the only guards to average 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in each of the past three seasons (minimum 40 games in each).

An All-Defensive Team honoree in 2018, Murray is the only player with at least 100 steals in each of the past five seasons.

Daniels was the No. 8 pick in the 2022 NBA draft and has shown promise on the defensive end, averaging 1.4 steals this past season in just 22.3 minutes per game. A 6-foot-8 guard, he averaged 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 2023-24.

Nance arrived in New Orleans as a part of the CJ McCollum deal at the 2022 trade deadline and battled injuries throughout his time there. He averaged 5.7 points and 5.0 rebounds a season ago as the Pelicans’ backup 5 who often closed games.

Liddell was a star at Ohio State but tore knee ligaments during a summer league game in 2022 and missed the ensuing season after surgery. He appeared in eight games this past season for New Orleans.

The deal ends the Murray-Young partnership after just two seasons. The Hawks still owe unprotected 2025 and 2027 picks, as well as an unprotected 2026 swap, to the Spurs.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.

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