Celtics

Should Celtics pay this reported asking price for a Dejounte Murray trade?

Celtics

San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray is one of the most interesting names involved in NBA trade rumors with free agency set to begin this week.

Murray is just 25 years old and coming off his best season with the Spurs since being drafted in the first round in 2016. He nearly averaged a triple-double with 21.1 points, 9.2 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game last season.

Trading Murray doesn't make a ton of sense for the Spurs, unless they really want to undergo a full rebuild with a bunch of first-round picks. The Spurs received a 2022 first-rounder and a 2028 first-round pick swap from the Boston Celtics as part of the Derrick White trade in February.

Speaking of first-rounders, the Spurs are asking for a bounty of them in any potential Murray trade, per LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk.

"San Antonio’s asking price for Murray is four first round draft picks with little to no protections," Ellis wrote in a story published Tuesday morning. "Alternatively, the Spurs want three minimally protected first rounders and two unprotected first round pick swaps." 

Ellis also reports one Eastern Conference team "is offering three first round draft picks and a desirable young player in a proposed swap" for Murray. 

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One of the best reasons to acquire Murray, aside from his impressive talent, is his contract. It's a team-friendly deal with a salary cap hit of $16.5 million next season and $17.7 million in 2023-24, per Spotrac.

 

The opportunity to acquire a rising star with two more years left on his contract at very manageable money is pretty appealing.

That said, giving up multiple first-round picks plus swaps -- with little or no protection -- is still a huge risk.

It's unlikely that we'll see many top-tier players hitting the free agent market, so if teams want to make substantial improvements to their roster before next season, going into the trade market for players like Murray is probably the best option.