For most of the 2023-24 NBA season thus far, the Milwaukee Bucks were silent on the trade front, which led many to believe that it could very well be a quiet next few months.
Well, things got a little more interesting. According to Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes, the Bucks are among multiple teams to express interest in acquiring Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, whose name has constantly been in rumors lately. It seems inevitable that he will be moved, and the Bucks are seemingly poking around the idea of jumpstarting the process.
Milwaukee Bucks trying to make a splash? Reaction to Dejounte Murray trade interest
First and foremost, it is welcoming to see the Bucks finally be attached to someone in the rumor mill. It's cliche for fans to want to see a trade, but it's clear that Milwaukee would benefit from making a deal before the deadline next month to strengthen their efforts on the defensive end. Adding a piece like Murray would help them in that regard.
Murray, a combo guard, has always been a strong defender, having earned All-Defensive honors in 2017-18 and was named the Steals Champ in 2021-22. At 6-foot-5, he possesses the height and the length to guard players of all shapes and sizes in terms of guards and wings. Dropping him into the lineup would immediately make this team scarier on the defensive end.
There might be concerns about how Murray would fit alongside Damian Lillard in the backcourt, as he hasn't been a seamless fit with another ball-dominant guard in Atlanta in Trae Young, but there's little to no doubt that having Murray next to Lillard defensively could be perfect. Having Murray would take pressure off of Lillard significantly and make life easier for him.
Offensively, Murray is a legitimate 20-point per game scorer, surpassing that mark in each of the past three seasons. This season, he's averaging 21 points while making 2.3 triples per game, which blows his previous career-best of 1.8 out of the water. Alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard, he'd get plenty of great opportunities offensively, especially from deep, which could fuel his success.
The question everyone wants answered is what the Milwaukee Bucks have to offer to get Murray in a green jersey. In terms of salary, they could combine Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton while offering their only two second-round picks. Maybe they could dangle MarJon Beauchamp as a further sweetener. Would they go even crazier and try to make a deal involving Brook Lopez? Likely not.
While this is an incredibly captivating rumor, it's tough to imagine the Hawks accepting a package that does not feature a first-round pick. According to The Athletic's Jovan Buha (subscription required), the Los Angeles Lakers have talked to the Hawks about a trade involving a first and additional draft capital. That likely beats what the Milwaukee Bucks have to offer the Hawks.
Ultimately, all we can do is wait and see. At the bare minimum, this shows that Jon Horst, Milwaukee's general manager, is not shying away from his aggressive mindset in terms of trades, which is great.
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