The Atlanta Hawks made a major splash Wednesday when they reportedly acquired combo guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks gave up veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks and a future pick swap to land the 25-year-old.
Murray is coming off the best year of his career and finished second in NBA Most Improved Player voting. He was named to his first All-Star Game as an injury replacement and averaged career highs of 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and an NBA-best 2.0 steals.
Fans and analysts lauded the acquisition for the Hawks, many believing that Murray's presence will work wonders for Atlanta star point guard Trae Young.
Evan Sidery @esidery
Surrounding Trae Young with a defense-first core of Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter and Onyeka Okungwu is the perfect ecosystem for everyone involved.<br><br>Young will make life so much easier for everyone else, and now he can be hid well while conserving energy on the defensive end.
Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
Dejounte Murray will unlock a better version of Trae Young if Trae embraces playing off-ball with more effort in screen and handoff actions plus relocations within the flow of the offense. No more hands on knees resting at the logo. Young has it in him to be a constant threat.
Rashad Phillips @RP3natural
Murray will have that “Jrue Holiday” & “Joe Dumars” effect for the Hawks. He will provide offensive versatility, perimeter defensive production, rebounding, and scoring. Every great guard needs a running mate. See you in October. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TalkSoon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TalkSoon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrueToAtlanta?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TrueToAtlanta</a> <a href="https://t.co/qQRh7fwgtF">pic.twitter.com/qQRh7fwgtF</a>
Tom Orsborn @tom_orsborn
Always impressed by Dejounte's ambition, drive & passion. Gained even more respect learning through the years what he overcame growing up in Seattle, watching him bounce back from injury and becoming an All-Star last season despite his sister's tragic death. Best of luck in ATL.
Murray will certainly improve the Hawks on both sides of the ball. Atlanta had the sixth-best offense in the NBA last season (113.9 PPG) but ranked 21st in defense (112.4 PPG). Murray will try to change that as he takes on the role of lead perimeter defender.
It was just two years ago that the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Young has proved capable of carrying the team for stretches, but Murray's presence is sure to take some pressure off and make life a lot easier for him.
The road to the postseason in the East will not be easy by any means with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers at the top of the conference. But the addition of Murray alongside Young gives Atlanta a strong chance of competing against the elite teams.