It didn’t take long for Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray to speak up after agreeing to the terms of a new four-year, $120 million contract extension on July 6 that should keep him in a Hawks uniform through the 2027-28 campaign. Atlanta gave up a big trade package for a one-time All-Star and 2021-22 steals champion.
“ATLANTA #DM5 was booked from the moment you all kissed me,” Murray tweeted It wasn’t long after he announced his new deal. “Loyalty over everything. Let’s Go Gooooooooooooooo!!!!!! #TrueToATLANTA. “
It’s an extension (and apparent confirmation) of his message from the day before when he seemed to be hinting at something.
“I don’t play about loyalty,” Murray said in that tweet From July 5th.
Murray, 26, averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds this past season while shooting 46.4% from the floor and 34.4% from depth on 5.2 attempts per game. He also averaged 1.5 steals and averaged at least 1.2 steals in five of his six healthy seasons in the NBA – he tore his ACL and missed the entire 2018-19 season.
Heading into the final year of a four-year, $64 million contract, many thought Murray would opt for unrestricted free agency on a stretch that’s expected to be $17 million less in the first year than if he pulled out — to be clear: That’s not the greatest amount. How much money Murray could have made.
He signed the deal ahead of the 2021-22 All-Star bid and before that there were whispers about new CBA standards that might have enabled this extension to be accomplished.
Atlanta could offer a first-year salary of $24.8 million under the new CBA.
Under the old CBA, the maximum that could be offered in the first year was $21.2 million. And while that may not sound like a big enough bump, it was enough to convince Murray to re-achieve what is always a bargain for the Falcons, especially given the percentage of the cap he’ll get even in his fourth year as a freshman. Deal when he earns $30.7 million.
Even then, he would be responsible for less than 20% of Hawks’ salary cap allowance. And his visionary leadership last season demonstrated his approach to the upcoming rookie class.
The Hawks went 38-36 with Murray in the lineup this past season with a starting lineup that ranked 86th percentile last season, per cleaning the glasses.
The status of Murray’s contract was a big part of the discussion when the trade was being evaluated by onlookers. With that now resolved, the only thing left for Murray and the Hawks is to translate that into wins, and not just in the regular season.
Of course, it was with John Collins that they traded to the Utah Jazz.
The next youngsters could be the Atlanta Hawks
Murray is the second player to sign an extension under this front office led by General Manager Landry Fields. They also signed veteran striker Bogdan Bogdanović to a four-year, $68 million contract in March. But they may not be the last of the current Falcons to see fresh money before all is said and done before next season.
Former No. 6 overall pick (2020) Onyeka Okongwu and the 2023 trade deadline acquisition, Siddig Bey, are both considered eligible for an extension this season. There wasn’t much of a whisper of upcoming talks but that was the case with Murray as well, and to an even more extreme degree.
Only Bey and Okongwu will be heading into restricted free agency which means the Hawks can match any offers they receive next season.
- Posted on 07/07/2023 at 02:23 AM
- Last updated on 07/07/2023 at 02:28 AM
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