Thursday July 18th, 2024 6:34AM

Hawks complete deal to send Murray to Pelicans, including 2 first-round picks

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks completed a trade Saturday that sends high-scoring guard Dejounte Murray to the New Orleans Pelicans for a package of two first-round draft picks and three veterans.

The trade announced by the Hawks sends guard Dyson Daniels, forward-center Larry Nance Jr. and center Cody Zeller to Atlanta. The Hawks will receive a 2025 first-round pick and a conditional 2027 first-rounder. The 2027 pick will be a top-four protected selection that will be the least favorable of picks attached to the Pelicans and Milwaukee.

Atlanta did not have a first-round pick next year before making the trade, which was finalized more than a week after the framework of the Murray deal was first reported.

The Hawks made swing player Zaccharie Risacher of France the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft last month before trading AJ Griffin to Houston to obtain a second-round pick used to obtain rights to guard/forward Nikola Djurisic of Serbia.

The Murray trade comes after the Hawks were unable to win a playoff series in his two seasons joining Trae Young as the team's high-scoring backcourt.

“Our goal is to build a contending team that can compete deep into the playoffs,” general manager Landry Fields said in a statement released by by team.

“It became evident after further analysis and evaluation this offseason that we needed to reshape our roster and regain assets that would allow us to further build out our team. It is certainly difficult to trade a player like DJ but we knew it was best for our organization to move forward this way. We wish he and his family only the best.”

The Hawks finished 10th in the Eastern Conference at 36-46 this season and haven’t won a playoff series since advancing to the Eastern Conference finals in 2021.

Murray, 27, averaged a career-high 22.5 points with 6.4 assists this season. He has averaged 15.4 points in seven seasons, including five with San Antonio.

"Dejounte is among the best two-way guards in the NBA and adds another dimension to our team, and we could not be more excited to welcome him and his family to New Orleans,” Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin said in a statement released by the team.

The 6-foot-7 Daniels averaged 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 61 games, including 16 starts, with New Orleans last season. He provides a defensive boost, addressing a weakness for the Hawks, after ranking 10th in the NBA with 1.4 steals per game.

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