It’s that dead period between the draft and free agency, when rumors begin running amuck in anticipation of July 1. Perhaps the most prominent one floating around involves Spurs guard Dejounte Murray and the Atlanta Hawks. It was already reported prior to the draft that the Spurs were doing their due diligence and listening to offers for their star guard but were demanding the “Jrue Holiday Package”, a.k.a. a borderline star player (at worst) and three future first round picks.
That seems like a lot to ask and likely something no one would bite on, but now more smoke is being added to the fire as Hawks forward John Collins (there’s that name again) is reportedly “done” with Atlanta, and he and three first round picks would theoretically fit the criteria of the “Jrue Holiday Package”. While Spurs fans might scoff at yet another Collins-to-the-Spurs rumor, according to Pat Benson of FanSided’s All Hawks, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Here are some of the reasons he lists to add credit to the rumor:
- Hawks guard Trae Young and Murray recently followed each other on Twitter, both are represented by powerful agency Klutch Sports Group, and they are reportedly interested in playing together.
- Murray recently traveled to Atlanta and posted pictures of himself working out there.
- The Spurs will soon face a tough decision with Murray and free agency, who will command near a max contract and likely get it from someone, even if it isn’t the Spurs.
- The Spurs have shown continuous interest in Collins over the last couple of seasons and reportedly are still inquiring about him today.
Those are all legit reasons to monitor this potential rumor, but there’s also several reasons to be skeptical.
- Players following each other on social media or expressing interest in playing together isn’t that unusual, and it’s quite possible that Murray and Young simply bonded while playing together on Team Durant in the 2022 All Star Game. It’s also not unusual for players to travel and work out together during the offseason.
- Yes, Klutch Sports is a powerful agency and has a knack for getting what their clients want, but rhetoric centered around “these two players are represented by the same agency” is often overblown and not related to most situations as much as it’s made out to be.
- The parts about the Spurs continuous interest in Collins and looking ahead at Murray’s future contract are more credible, but it’s still worth noting that there are two years left on his current contract. He’s on a bargain deal for an All Star, so are the Spurs really looking that far ahead?
- Last but not least, all of these rumors come from the same source: Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Not to take any credit away from him, but one source does not a rumor make. And in this case, I wouldn’t count Murray’s social media activity as a “source” considering he loves to be a troll and mess with people by adding flames to the fire. (Remember the Zach LaVine tweet?)
In the end, this may very well end up being a credible or even true rumor. There is little doubt the two teams have been talking to each other; they otherwise wouldn’t be doing their jobs. It’s also worth noting that the Spurs used two of their three first round picks to grab defensive-minded guards with ball-handling skills, including one with potentially a higher offensive ceiling than Murray in Malaki Branham.
However, for now this is still what it is: a rumor. I’ll need more than just one source (especially when it isn’t Adrian Wojnarowski or Shams Charania) and some social media shenanigans to be convinced, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.