Dejounte Murray appears to just be hitting his stride, but Brian Wright and the front office decided to do what they failed to do in the past -- trade away talent at its peak value in favor of future assets. In the deal that became official on Thursday, the Spurs received the following draft picks:
- 2023 first-round pick via CHA (top-16 protected)
- 2025 first-round pick
- 2026 pick swap
- 2027 first-round pick
As many in the media stated after the fact, it's rare nowadays to surrender unprotected first-round picks in a trade. The fact that the Spurs got two unprotected picks and an unprotected swap will pay off down the road -- but certain picks can get even more valuable than they seem.
If Trae Young flops in Atlanta, the Spurs will benefit
The Atlanta Hawks locked down Trae Young all the way through the 2026-27 season with his current contract. As such, he'll be around to help them earn wins and push the Spurs' draft picks back in 2025 and 2026 unless he's traded before then.
In general, the Spurs should want the Hawks to have a rough immediate future since it'll improve their incoming picks. But if Young doesn't stay in Atlanta beyond his contract, that could put them in a tough place for the 2027-28 season -- meaning San Antonio could end up with their highest pick of them all in 2027.
Since Young joined Atlanta, the Hawks have finished with the following results:
'18-19: Missed NBA Playoffs
'19-20: Missed NBA Playoffs
'20-21: Lost Eastern Conference Finals
'21-22: Lost Eastern Conference First Round
With the addition of Murray, there are high expectations on the Hawks to bounce back from their disappointing season, but anything can happen in this league.
As the NBA continues to be full of drama and unexpected divorces between players and organizations, Spurs fans should hope that becomes the case in Atlanta.