Ultimately, all the rumors ended up leading to this moment. Now the beloved Seattle native finds a new home in Atlanta, suddenly part of an All-Star backcourt with Trae Young and a real shot at making playoff noise.
If the Derrick White trade was a signal that the Spurs were ready for a full rebuild, this move shouts from the rooftops that this organization is ready for a complete tear-down and build-up. Before giving my quick take on the trade just an hour after it was announced, let's look at the terms of the deal.
After many Spurs fans were hoping for a combination of young talent and draft picks in return for their All-Star, what the team eventually got was an expiring contract, a first-round pick that could possibly not convey anytime soon, and and two future unprotected first-round picks.
My gut reaction is it strikes me as a terrible deal for San Antonio, but the 2025 and 2027 picks being unprotected is not nothing.
In fact, Zach Lowe seems to think this kind of return is unheard of nowadays with how valuable picks are, particularly from teams with an uncertain trajectory.
Did the Spurs get enough value for Dejounte Murray?
Maybe this will change in the coming days and weeks, but as a fan first and writer second, I don't really understand this. Maybe that's because I was hoping to see a return to the playoffs more immediately than in two-plus years. It just seems like going from finding your star and leader one season to moving him the next seems counter-productive.
Even trading for a haul that included four first-round draft picks seemed iffy to me. After all, draft picks are always a crapshoot while we know what Dejounte can do on the court.
Ultimately, it appears the max that Murray would likely command in 2024 could have played a big part in why this deal got done -- that and the fact that the Spurs are trusting themselves to nail every draft in the near future. After all, they now have 23 picks to use or trade over the next six years.
Maybe a reporter's recent theory that trading Murray means the Spurs are tanking for French sensation Victor Wembanyama could be true after all. Unfortunately, the 2023 pick via Charlotte from Atlanta is top-16 protected, meaning it won't give the Spurs another lottery shot at him in next year's NBA Draft.
But couldn't the Spurs have gotten a similar deal after this upcoming season? After all, this doesn't seem like a "Jrue-Holiday"-type package to me, as was originally rumored. Apparently, some within the Spurs' the front office saw more value in building from the ground-up than building around Dejounte.
In the end, this is going to be a decision that could end up backfiring big-time depending on how the rest of Murray's career plays out and how San Antonio drafts going forward.
Again, maybe this will change in time depending on how the rest of the offseason goes, but I can't help but think this could be a choice the Spurs end up regretting.