Dejounte Murray opens up about Spurs, Coach Popovich after trade

Dejounte Murray, Josh Green
Dejounte Murray, Josh Green / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

It was a controversial move, but the San Antonio Spurs' decision to trade Dejounte Murray was certainly a pivotal moment for the franchise.

While the Spurs will likely be a team fighting to scrape together 20 wins this season, the choice to finally push in a direction away from mediocrity should end up benefitting them in the long run. Now armed with a trove of valuable draft picks for a top-end scouting staff, the process of building back up begins now, and both sides should end up better off.

Checking out Summer League action in Las Vegas, Murray took a few minutes to talk on ESPN about the trade and his future in Atlanta. Much of what he said was what we've all come to expect from a franchise like the Spurs.

Dejounte and Popovich had talks before the trade

"It was something me and Pop already talked about. Before it was done, I already knew what it was and Pop knew what it was because that was our conversation," said Murray. "At the end of the day, we all understand the business."

The business side of things is what likely caused the Spurs to part with Murray in the first place, as there wasn't a clear indication he'd be staying in San Antonio beyond his contract in 2024. Instead of repeating the mistake of losing top talent for nothing, the front office decided to strike while the iron was hot with the Atlanta Hawks trade.

"They just want the best for Dejounte," he continued. "That's something that you got to respect. I have a lot of respect for the organization because I feel like that's rare. For them to send me somewhere I wanted to go speaks volumes."

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While Murray might enjoy more immediate success in Atlanta, he and the Spurs will always have a special bond.

"At the end of the day, that's the Spurs organization," he said. "They're first-class."