Hawks' Championship Odds Rise in Wake of Murray Blockbuster


June 30, 2022

The Atlanta Hawks made major headlines Wednesday, acquiring All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for three first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027), a pick swap in 2026, and forward Danilo Gallinari. Atlanta was one of several teams said to be interested in Murray prior to last week’s draft and was finally able to land a second star to play alongside Trae Young.  

NBA Championship Odds Movement

As expected, the Hawks have rightfully seen their NBA title chances increase following the blockbuster deal, moving from opening odds of +6000 to +5000 at FanDuel Sportsbook. The movement has been even bigger at BetMGM where the odds have shifted from +6600 to +4000 this week.

What Does Murray Bring to the Hawks?

Murray is coming off a career-best season, one which saw him average a near triple-double (21.1 PPG, 9.2 APG, 8.3 RPG), and is still just 23 years old. The former first-round pick is a sound player defensively, being named to the All-NBA second team in 2018 while leading the league in steals last season. To that end, Murray’s presence should greatly improve a Hawks’ defense that ranked 26th in defensive rating last season – only the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Houston Rockets were worse. 

Offensively, Murray adds immediate scoring and playmaking to a team that relied far too much on Young’s talent. While some may question the pair’s ability to coincide given their similar styles of play, there is no denying Atlanta has assembled one of the game’s elite backcourts in terms of overall skill and upside.

One of the league’s youngest squads, the Hawks may still be a few years away from being true championship contenders, but Wednesday’s deal was surely a step in the right direction. If anything, it has put the city of Atlanta right back on the basketball map. 

Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images

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