Knicks spoke with Hawks about star guard but ‘never got close’ on a deal

NBA: Playoffs-Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls, knicks
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The New York Knicks were active at the trade deadline this past season, acquiring OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Alec Burks. These moves were aimed at bolstering their depth and enhancing their scoring off the bench, while also adding a premier defensive player to their starting lineup.

Knicks’ Trade Deadline Moves and Playoff Implications

Despite these strategic acquisitions, the Knicks struggled to advance beyond the Eastern Conference semi-finals, hampered by injuries that compromised their starting unit and provided the Indiana Pacers with a significant advantage.

Discussions were held with the Atlanta Hawks regarding star guard Dejounte Murray as a potential addition, but negotiations did not progress toward a deal, as reported by the New York Times.

Dejounte Murray, had he joined the Knicks, would have been a significant asset, alleviating some of the pressure on Jalen Brunson and enhancing the guard scoring. Murray, with five years at the point and the last two seasons as a shooting guard, has demonstrated his scoring prowess, averaging 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.4 assists this year. Despite his improved .459 field goal percentage and .363 three-point shooting, his defensive capabilities were considered subpar, reflected in a defensive rating of 119.4 with the Hawks.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Murray is set to start a four-year, $114 million veteran extension next season, which will account for 17.92% of the league cap. His potential addition could have provided the Knicks with a significant scoring threat, though his defensive shortcomings may have detracted from the overall team performance.

Looking forward, the Knicks face several critical decisions during the upcoming offseason. Priorities include addressing the contract situations of Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein, which might necessitate offloading some salary. Should either player depart in free agency, the Knicks will need to consider drafting or acquiring a seasoned veteran to fill the void.

The Knicks might opt to keep the current roster intact, betting on a healthier lineup to compete more effectively next year. Had they been at full strength, there is little doubt that they could have posed a significant challenge to the Pacers and possibly contended with the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

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