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Has Dejounte Murray trade put Hawks in NBA Finals frame?

Murray traded to Atlanta Hawks

The San Antonio Spurs of the NBA have finally worked out a trade for Dejounte Murray. The guard will be heading to the Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks. It is expected Gallinari will be cut from the Spurs in the coming days.

Murray played six years in San Antonio and improved in every season. He started out as a defense-first player, but last year he averaged 21.1 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game and 9.2 assists per game. His ability to score and defend will pair very well with offensive monster Trae Young in the Hawks’ guard rotation.

Murray is only 25 years old, so it is a little perplexing as to why the Spurs traded him. He is an ascending player and was a sought-after commodity once it was announced San Antonio were looking to trade him. The only reason the Spurs would trade him is so they can bottom out and compete for the first overall pick, rather than miring in mediocrity as they have in recent years.

On the other side of the trade, this move makes Atlanta a real threat in the Eastern Conference. After a conference finals appearance two years ago, the Hawks took a step back last season and were defeated by the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Atlanta fans will be hoping Murray can play a part in getting them over the hump.

And he should be a key factor in the improvement of the Hawks. With Murray and Young as their guards, there will be few better guard duos in the NBA. Both of these players can score 30-plus points on any given night. The Hawks still need another piece or two to make them real threats, but they have a ton of young talent that can develop and elevate the profile of Atlanta.

The Hawks are currently +5000 with Bovada to win the NBA Championship next year, and while they should improve on last season, they aren’t in the upper echelon of NBA teams quite yet. If someone were to put a bet on them, we wouldn’t fault them as it is good value; however, it’s unlikely the Hawks take a massive step in the next season.

The same goes with the Hawks’ odds to win the Eastern Conference at +3300. They will be a good, competitive team, but it would be quite shocking to see them win three playoff series. That being said, they are very good prices and will give any wagerer ample opportunities to hedge with other teams throughout the season.

All in all, this was a big get for the Hawks and it definitely makes them better. They should be more of a threat in the upcoming seasons but it would be shocking for them to truly compete for a title. However, as a young team, you never know what can happen, and the Hawks should be a fixture in the NBA Playoffs for years to come.

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