For the Golden State Warriors, losers of eight of their last 11 games and a team in danger of falling out of the West’s playoff picture altogether, the time has come to recognize that if the organization wants to rescue the last remaining good years of Stephen Curry’s career, something drastic will need to be done. Curry turns 36 in March, after all, and the Warriors are 12th in the West, two spots away from even making the play-in tournament.
Plenty of names have been tossed around in connection with the Warriors ahead of next month’s NBA trade deadline, but one might make the most sense for a team in need of playmaking: Dejounte Murray of the Hawks.
At The Athletic, Murray is linked to the Warriors as a “best fit” ahead of the trade deadline.
He won’t come cheap. The Warriors would have to give up two first-round picks to get him, as Atlanta is asking. Perhaps hat price could be negotiated downward, especially considering that Murray already has a four-year, $114 million extension in place. But the Warriors need to do something to rescue this year, and Murray might be the guy who could accomplish that.
Warriors Trade Could Feature Chris Paul for Dejounte Murray
Currently, Murray is averaging 21.0 points, 4.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds for Atlanta. He is shooting 47.1% from the field and 38.3% from the 3-point line. He has not been particularly good defensively for Atlanta, but he has the ability to be an excellent defensive player.
A combination of shooting, defense and the kind of playmaking that could take pressure off Curry. Financially, the situation with Murray could be tricky, as the Warriors would likely have to take back both Murray and another big-salaried player.
The Hawks have been trying to move center Clint Capela, who has another year on his contract worth $22 million. The Warriors do need size, too, so taking on Capela might be a good idea for the Warriors, even if it puts further strain on the team’s already robust payroll.
If the Warriors included Moses Moody instead of a pick, then a package of Chris Paul, Cory Joseph and Moody, along with one first-rounder, would work.
Stephen Curry Needs Backcourt Help
Pairing Murray with Curry would give the Warriors a more sensible backcourt, and Golden State has been eager to dump Paul (who is injured) for much of the year. The team badly needs depth at guard, and Murray is a player who can chew up minutes at either guard spot.
That’s one of the benefits of adding Murray—he can morph into whatever role a team needs. He is a good playmaker, a good shooter, and a good defender. He’ll take on the identity of the team around him.
As an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports this week: “The thing with Dejounte Murray is that he is a very good defensive player and a very good offensive player and at the same time, he is not great at either. He’s good. If you drop him into a defensive-minded team, you are going to see his defense shine a little more and maybe his offense be secondary.
“If you drop him into an offensive-minded team like the Hawks, then that’s what you’re going to see. He is not good enough defensively to change an entire team’s culture and he did not do that with Atlanta.”
Drop him onto the Warriors, and, the hope would be, he will play a bit like Stephen Curry.