An All-Star talent is all the New York Knicks need to become a real NBA championship threat, as everyone invested in the franchise has bought into what they’re building.
Down in Atlanta, confidence has shifted in the front office’s direction from the backcourt duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray to Young and Jalen Johnson, leaving Murray as an odd man out with the Feb. 8 trade deadline looming.
Knicks Trade Rumors: Latest Reports Point to Change in Hawks’ Attitude Toward Dejounte Murray
As Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported, an opportunity is ripe for the Knicks to make their bid for Murray and add that third scorer they long for in the second half of the season:
“NBA insider Marc Stein filed a similar report the same day and said the impression was that Atlanta is prepared to “build around Trae and Jalen Johnson.”
Murray is a capable scorer who finds success penetrating at the top of the key and on the wings. Nifty at using the glass from 10 feet in, keeping defenders on his hip off of the screen-and-roll, and finishing inside over taller defenders, Murray presents a sizable option that could blend in well in the Knicks’ starting lineup next to Jalen Brunson and O.G. Anunoby.
Where concern lies is in his three-point shooting. Murray connects on 39.4 percent of his 6.1 attempts from outside this year. As impressive as that number is, his track record shows a clip that never exceeded 34.4 percent in any prior season where he averaged two or more attempts per game.
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Is Murray the Best All-Star Player For the Knicks to Pursue?
The Knicks need diversity and pace to their offense. Murray is adept at scoring on the break and doesn’t hold the ball for an excessive amount of time. Should his uptick in success from deep not be a blip, Murray could be the guy that helps the Knicks match up closely with the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics in potential Eastern Conference Finals matchups.
The Knicks have the draft capital and tradable assets to entice the Hawks to get a deal done. Atlanta’s willingness to get the ball rolling is a positive first step.