At least that's what some outlets would have you believe out there on the interwebs. Much as I did over the summer with all the DeMar DeRozan fake news, it's time to set the record straight on a similar thing happening with the Spurs' brightest star.
A few days ago, I came across a headline on my phone's news feed that made me roll my eyes. "Celtics Pushed to Trade for 25-Year-Old ‘Breakout’ Point Guard," read the teaser from a Heavy.com article. Even though I figured it was clickbait, I had to check it out since I figured I might need to call it out. I was right.
The headline definitely implies a concerted effort by the Celtics to acquire Murray from the Spurs, so I would expect to read about some calls being made, maybe some chatter from team representatives. Yet the most I could gather from this article tying Boston to Dejounte was the following:
"Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report has slated the likes of Magic sparkplug Terrence Ross, Grizzlies hybrid forward Kyle Anderson and Spurs guard Dejounte Murray atop Boston’s list of desired targets."
Nothing concrete linked the Celtics to Dejounte whatsoever
The rest of the article then discusses how Murray would fit with the Celtics and gives some of his credentials. That's it. The Celtics "pushed to trade" for him? Are we sure?
The article by Vinny Somma cites a Bleacher Report article, so maybe that one had more juicy intel on the trade proposal? Not a chance. To Zach Buckley's credit, his headline was simply "Every NBA Team's 2021 Trade Deadline Target List." I would expect pure speculation in such an article.
Here's the full context of what he said that led to the follow-up Heavy.com article with the misleading headline:
"The Shamrocks could instead pivot to Dejounte Murray, who's engineering a breakout season. If he is up for grabs, he could fill the floor-general role Boston hoped Marcus Smart could handle."
When you see "could" and "if", you can rest assured someone is just speculating based on nothing. That's perfectly fine for the purposes of Buckley's article. But when people take things like that and run with it to imply real moves are being made, things start to get messy.
As the season goes on and the February 10th trade deadline approaches, you're bound to see several more articles with headlines about various Spurs. Let this serve as a warning to carefully read context to sort the trash from facts.
Like I said with the DeRozan rumors before, there are certain sources like CNBC's Jabari Young, San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald and Mike Finger, and of course, Air Alamo, that will keep it real with you. Keep that in mind the next time you see hard-to-believe headlines.