Latest intel suggests the Spurs may be targeting the wrong all-star point guard

The NBA trade deadline is only 3 weeks away, and the San Antonio Spurs continue to be linked to an all-star, but new intel suggests they're chasing the wrong one.
Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

The NBA trade deadline is only three weeks away, and the San Antonio Spurs' name keeps appearing in trade rumors. The Spurs are rumored to be interested in re-acquiring Murray is fascinating because they traded him at the peak of his value to the Atlanta Hawks, partly to tank. They not only got three firsts and a pick swap but were bad enough to finish with the second-worst record and land the top picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Now, with Victor Wembanyama, they are in need of an upgrade at the starting point guard position and could use some of the assets received in the initial Murray trade to re-acquire him. However, according to the Ringer, Murray's teammate Trae Young is open to playing with Wembanyama, and if true, San Antonio should throw the kitchen sink at the Hawks to land him.

Are the Spurs targeting the wrong Atlanta Hawks star?

The Hawks have specifically made Young off-limits in trade talks, but that might just be a ploy to convince GMs they'll need to offer more in an eventual trade for him. Would trading Keldon Johnson, Doug McDermott, Cedi Osman, Chicago's 2025 first, Atlanta's 2025 first, and control of their 2026 pick back be enough?

Maybe. Part of the reason why the Hawks are looking to offload Murray is so they can improve their pick in this year's draft, knowing that they won't have control of their picks for the next three years after that. Getting back a starting-caliber wing in Johnson, who is on a good contract, a likely lottery pick from Chicago, and two of the firsts that they traded to the Spurs would be a strong offer.

It also wouldn't preclude them from trading Murray and other valuable players like Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic for more assets. With regained control of their picks, they could bottom out and rebuild through the draft. Meanwhile, the Spurs would get arguably the best possible point guard to pair with Wembanyama.

Young is an elite offensive player, averaging 27.2 points while shooting above league average on more than nine threes per game. He is also averaging nearly 11 assists per game—his second straight season averaging more than 10 per game. He'd not only give the Spurs their best scorer since Kawhi Leonard but also someone who could feed Wembanyama the ball in the pick-and-roll and get him easy shots by tossing him lobs.

Overall, while Murray would be a major upgrade were the Spurs to re-acquire him, they should aim higher and aggressively pursue Young. If they were to land him, he would be a major get and could help unlock the Spurs' offense, help get them back to the playoffs, and possibly back into title contention sooner rather than later.