Knicks Concerned About Trade Target’s Fit With Jalen Brunson

Dejounte Murray and Julius Randle

Getty Images Dejounte Murray and Julius Randle next to each other.

As the New York Knicks look to get better by making a trade, one name that continuously circles in rumors is Dejounte Murray. Murray, who the Atlanta Hawks traded for to pair with Trae Young, hasn’t found much success in Atlanta.

With the Knicks trading Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett for OG Anunoby, there’s still a need for more offense. Murray could be the exact player they’re looking for to replace the lost offense. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports that they do have interest in Murray, but they’re a bit uncertain if he can coexist with Jalen Brunson.

“Just a year and a half after the blockbuster trade that landed Murray in Atlanta, the Hawks are reportedly making him “widely available” ahead of the trade deadline, per Fischer. The fit of Murray and Trae Young hasn’t been as successful as the Hawks had hoped, with the pair posting a minus-2.9 net rating when they share the floor.

The Knicks have been listed as a potential suitor for Murray, though there are reportedly concerns about if he can coexist alongside Jalen Brunson. But even if it’s not the Knicks, Murray will surely have multiple suitors who are in search of a two-way, All-Star guard on a somewhat team-friendly contract.”

Murray and Young have a tough time coexisting, especially defensively. Do the Knicks want to pair Murray with another small guard in Brunson? Likely not, but the interest is there.

What the Knicks Could Trade for Dejounte Murray

If the Knicks could trade for Dejounte Murray without giving up a ton of assets, it makes sense. For a few picks and salary fillers, there’s no question about if they should make the deal. Fischer hinted at the idea of trading Evan Fournier and others to the Hawks to land the former All-Star.

“They have enough draft capital and wiggle room with Evan Fournier’s contract to explore a wide range of names… The premier point guard on the market before the Feb. 8 trade deadline may be Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray, a former All-Star whom the Hawks have made widely available, according to league sources, two years after trading three first-round picks to acquire Murray from San Antonio.”

A straight-up deal for Murray and Fournier works in terms of salary, which makes that the most obvious deal. Atlanta’s in a strange position where they’re stuck in the middle. At this point, they likely want as much draft capital as they can get from the team that trades for Murray.

The Dejounte Murray and Jalen Brunson Fit

There are two concerns when it comes to a potential Dejounte Murray and Jalen Brunson led backcourt. While Murray has struggled defensively during his time with the Hawks, he could turn that around under Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau is a defensive-minded coach who gets the most out of his guys defensively.

Concerns over two ball-dominant guards are also valid as Murray and Young clearly have that problem. If Murray comes in and understands that his role won’t be with the ball in his hands, that’d solve half the problem. If not, the Knicks need to stay away and look at other options.

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