Reason Spurs traded Dejounte Murray revealed
The San Antonio Spurs parted ways with one of the best young players in the NBA when they traded Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks, but they apparently knew they were either going to lose him now or lose him later.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his “The Hoop Collective” podcast this week that Murray and his agent, Rich Paul, informed the Spurs that Murray had no interest in signing a contract extension with them.
Murray has two years remaining on the four-year, $64 million deal he signed with San Antonio in 2019, but he is eligible to sign a three-year extension worth roughly $75 million this summer. The 25-year-old does not want to do that, at least with the Spurs.
Windhorst said the decision was not personal for Murray.
“And that wasn’t really necessarily about the Spurs,” Windhorst said, via Bleacher Report’s Doric Sam. “His contract is about $16 million on average. When you extend your contract, you’re limited into how much of a raise you can get. And it would’ve been probably below his market value as a 25-year-old All-Star. But he pretty much told them—he’s like, ‘I’m probably not going to extend next summer either.'”
The Spurs ended up with three first-round picks, a future pick swap and veteran forward Danilo Gallinari in the Atlanta trade. If they felt it was inevitable that they would lose Murray in two years, it makes sense that they traded him when his value is highest.
Murray had career highs across the board last season with 21.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. Still, the Spurs only won 34 games and missed the postseason. That may have also factored into their decision to deal Murray.