Knicks Own 2nd-Best Odds to Land $120 Million Star

Jalen Brunson, Dejounte Murray, New York Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks attempts a shot against Dejounte Murray #5 and John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks.

The New York Knicks could be gearing up for a tug-of-war against their old rival Los Angeles Lakers for Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray based on the latest Vegas odds at Bovada sportsbook.

The Lakers are the current favorite to land Murray if the Hawks decide to trade him with -115 odds, with the Knicks a close second at +105. Down the list are several teams including the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat, who are tied with +950 odds.

Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto reported on December 22 that the Knicks have expressed exploratory interest in trading for the Hawks’ two-way guard.

“Murray can’t be traded until Jan. 9 after agreeing to a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Hawks in July. However, given Atlanta’s sluggish start to the season as a fringe Play-In team following Jalen Johnson’s injury, nothing can be considered off the table for the Hawks in addition to usual trade suspects De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela,” Scotto wrote.

The Knicks view Murray as a complementary star next to Jalen Brunson in their backcourt.

Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Lakers’ potential interest in Murray.

“One more player to keep an eye on. I’m told a potential target for the Lakers [is] Hawks guard Dejounte Murray,” Charania said during a December 26, 2023 episode of FanDuel’s “Run It Back.”

“Dejounte Murray still has four years, $120 million of an extension that kicks in next season,” Charania said, calling that “a reasonable salary to be bringing in when you already have LeBron James and Anthony Davis on your books.”

The Lakers likely became the favorite based on Murray being under Klutch Sports, who have the team’s stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis as their top clients.

Knicks-Klutch Sports ‘Cold War’

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, a potential roadblock for the Knicks to land Murray is the “cold war between Leon Rose and Klutch Sports’ CEO Rich Paul.

“I’m told that Paul remains reluctant to do business with the Knicks, who are led by team president Leon Rose and executive vice president William Wesley. Rose was a top agent at CAA before he took over the Knicks; Wesley was a consultant for the agency before he joined Rose in New York,” Begley wrote.

Paul was Rose’s understudy at CAA but he left in 2012 bringing LeBron James with him which signaled the rise of Klutch Sports in the NBA.

“The Hawks, obviously, can trade Murray — or any other player — to the Knicks or any other organization if they see fit. But if the Hawks decided to trade Murray, they would almost assuredly work closely with Paul and Klutch to find a suitable destination. That’s often how things work in the NBA,” Begley added.

But Stefan Bondy of the New York Post reported on December 27 that a sit-down meeting between the Knicks brass and Klutch Sports’ CEO Rich Paul could happen soon.

Kelly Olynyk as Knicks Trade Target?

In his Christmas Day substack newsletter, NBA insider Marc Stein linked the Utah Jazz big man Kelly Olynyk to the Knicks.

“The 6-foot-11 Olynyk, who turns 33 in April, would seemingly make sense as a trade target for the Knicks as well given New York’s acute need for size in the wake of Mitchell Robinson’s ankle injury that is feared to be season-ending,” Stein wrote.

The Knicks signed veteran Taj Gibson and G League player Dmytro Skapintsev but neither can consistently provide what Olynyk can do.

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