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Kevin Durant Rumors: Hawks Were Monitoring Nets Star Before Dejounte Murray Trade

Adam WellsJune 30, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Given all of the uncertainty that's been around the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk was preparing to make a trade offer for Kevin Durant.

Per The Athletic's Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick, the Hawks were keeping an eye on the Nets' situation with Kyrie Irving and were "seriously preparing for the possibility" that Durant might ask for a trade.

After Irving opted into his Nets contract for 2022-23, Atlanta turned its attention toward Dejounte Murray.

The Hawks agreed to acquire the All-Star guard from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks and a 2026 pick swap on Wednesday, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Irving told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on Monday he was opting in to his $36.5 million salary for next season.

The move came after weeks of speculation that Irving might opt out and look to sign with another team or pursue potential sign-and-trade deals.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers were the only team known to be pursuing a sign-and-trade for Irving, but the Nets had "no interest" in any of the packages being offered by Los Angeles.

Amid all of the Irving talk, Charania reported last week that Durant was "monitoring" things with the Nets and "considering options with his future."

If Durant had formally requested a trade, every team in the league should have been lining up with their best offer to present to Brooklyn's front office.

It's not hard to see what the appeal of adding Durant would have been for the Hawks. The potential of pairing him with Trae Young would have given Atlanta two of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA.

The Hawks' defensive issues wouldn't have been fixed by trading for Durant, but teams can always figure out things on the margins when there are two superstars on the roster.

Despite not landing Durant, the Hawks did well to acquire Murray from the Spurs. The 25-year-old was named an All-Star for the first time in his career last season. He averaged 21.1 points, 9.2 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Murray's 2.0 steals per game led the NBA. His ability as a perimeter defender and shot creator who can ease the burden on Young solves two huge problems that the Hawks had last season.

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