Dejounte Murray

Spurs Notes: Bassey, Bates-Diop, White, Murray, Primo

Last month, Charles Bassey was trying to keep his job with the Sixers, but he’s been given a much larger role since joining the Spurs, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. On October 13, Philadelphia waived the 22-year-old, who had fallen to fourth on the team’s center depth chart after the signing of Montrezl Harrell. Eleven days later, Bassey got a second chance with San Antonio on a two-way contract.

“He knows his role,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He rebounds, blocks shots, runs the floor, and he does it with a lot of energy.”

Bassey has more than doubled his playing time in his second NBA season, averaging 6.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per night. He only appeared in just 23 games as a rookie, but he’s still thankful for the opportunity he got from Sixers coach Doc Rivers.

“Me and Doc, we were good,” Bassey said. “Doc was one of the coaches I was excited to play for, but everything didn’t work out. Both these coaches (Rivers and Popovich) have coached great guys. Doc coached ‘KG’ (Kevin Garnett in Boston) and Pop has coached Tim Duncan. Philly gave me the opportunity to play in this league, and I am grateful to that organization. But playing for the Spurs right now is a dream come true.”

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • Since joining the Spurs last season, Keita Bates-Diop has learned to be ready for anything, Orsborn adds in a separate story. That was useful Thursday night in Sacramento when he found out shortly before game time that he would be starting because Keldon Johnson was sidelined by ankle soreness. “I am always constantly ready when I hear a guy is maybe in, maybe out,” Bates-Diop said. “My mind is always ready regardless.”
  • Watching Derrick White and Dejounte Murray square off in Wednesday’s Celtics-Hawks game was a reminder that the Spurs have moved on from what appeared to be their backcourt of the future, notes Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio traded White to Boston in February and dealt Murray to Atlanta in June, and the Spurs are now building around Johnson and Devin Vassell.
  • Although Dr. Hillary Cauthen has reportedly settled her lawsuit against the Spurs and Joshua Primo, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation of the case as it considers possible criminal charges, Orsborn tweets.

Southeast Notes: Ball, Goodwin, Young, Murray, Isaac

While there has been growing optimism that LaMelo Ball will soon make his season debut, it won’t happen on Monday night. The team’s PR department lists him as out for the Hornets’ contest against Washington (Twitter link).

Ball suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain in a preseason game on October 10. Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (left shoulder contusion) also remains out of action.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Jordan Goodwin, who had his training campcontract converted into a two-way deal in mid-October, has been a pleasant surprise for the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. Goodwin had nine points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals against Memphis on Sunday and could have a steady role as the third point guard. “He has the heart of a dog. You can’t teach that and you can’t give it out, you’re born with it,” Bradley Beal said.
  • Jonathan Isaac hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2019/20 season but the Magic forward is making progress. “I’ve been playing [5-on-5] the last few weeks and just getting in shape,” Isaac told Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m still getting there. But in terms of body, knees and hamstrings, everything is great. I’m just not in game shape.” Isaac won’t put a timetable on his return, adding “I foresee myself in the next few weeks continuing to get more in shape and being more integrated with the team.”
  • The Hawks entered Monday’s action with a 6-3 record, thanks in large part to their backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Both players are still adjusting to having another high volume guard alongside them but it’s working so far, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez writes. They’re averaging a combined 50.2 points and 17.5 assists per game. “We’re learning each other, trying to understand the new situation we’re both in,” Murray said. “Pushing each other and just knowing that it’s going be a long journey with ups and downs.”

Southeast Notes: Heat, Butler, Young, Murray, Banchero, Bol

The Heat stumbled a little out of the gate this season, losing five of their first seven games, including three of four at home. However, star swingman Jimmy Butler was unfazed by the team’s slow start, as he told Sam Amick of The Athletic.

“We’re still going to win the championship, and I don’t care what nobody says,” Butler said before the Heat beat Golden State on Tuesday. “Count us out. We’re going to win the f—ing championship. I’m telling you. I don’t give a damn that we started 2-5.”

While the Heat didn’t have much roster turnover this offseason, Butler said the team is still “different” this year, with P.J. Tucker gone and several players taking on new roles. According to Butler, some “growing pains” are to be expected.

“Y’all will look back at this, and be like, oh man, they started 2-5 and they ended the season f—ing 77-5,” he joked.

The Heat are 2-0 since Butler spoke to Amick, beating Sacramento on Wednesday without him in the lineup — he sat out due to left hip tightness.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Hawks star Trae Young was scratched in the left eye during Wednesday’s win over New York, but doesn’t think he’ll miss any time due to the injury, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN relays. “I think I’ll be able to play through it,” Young said, noting that Atlanta doesn’t play again until Saturday. “It’s more just letting the swelling go down. … I’ll probably have to wear goggles or glasses for some games, but it’ll be all right.”
  • With Young banged up, Dejounte Murray enjoyed his best game since joining the Hawks, racking up 36 points, nine assists, and five steals in a 13-point win. As Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, Murray has been emerging as one of the team’s leaders despite having only played eight games with Atlanta so far.
  • In an appearance on teammate R.J. Hampton‘s podcast, Magic rookie forward Paolo Banchero said that he intends to represent Italy in international competitions, according to Orazio Cauchi of Banchero wasn’t born or raised in Italy, but is of Italian descent on his father’s side. “I’m planning to play for the Italian national team, I’m not sure when,” Banchero said. “I haven’t been out there yet, but man, the amount of love I’m getting from there it’s crazy, man. It’s crazy. I can’t wait to go to Italy.”
  • It came as a bit of a surprise when the Magic re-signed Bol Bol to a two-year contract with a guaranteed 2022/23 salary after acquiring him in what seemed to be a salary-dump deal at last season’s deadline, but the oft-injured big man has been playing and producing so far this season. Nekias Duncan of celebrates that fact and takes a closer look at the role Bol is playing in Orlando.

Southeast Notes: Martin, Hunter, Wembanyama, Ross

Caleb Martin will serve his one-game suspension on Monday and the Heat forward expressed regret for the incident that led to that one-game ban, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

“I definitely expected something like that to that degree,” Martin said of the suspension. “I knew they were going to look through something and find out the proper consequences, and I definitely don’t disagree with it.”

Martin was deemed the instigator in an on-court altercation with the Raptors’ Christian Koloko on Saturday.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • It’s questionable whether Hawks owner Tony Ressler would actually be willing to pay a luxury tax unless the Hawks have 60-win potential, which is why De’Andre Hunter‘s extension could become an issue in the near future, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hunter’s extension of four years and up to $95MM puts the Hawks in a bind as early as next summer if Bogdan Bogdanović picks up his $18MM option for 2023/24, Hollinger notes. They’ll also have to shell out big bucks to re-sign Dejounte Murray in 2024, so unless they clear cap space, the Hawks could be limited to using the taxpayer mid-level exception and still ending up paying the tax in ’23/24, then go even deeper into tax territory the following season.
  • The Hornets shouldn’t go into tank mode to land projected top pick Victor Wembanyama, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer opines. They haven’t enjoyed lottery luck throughout their history, Boone notes. It would also leave their current franchise player, LaMelo Ball, without any postseason experience and would risk alienating season ticket holders.
  • Magic wing Terrence Ross sees a silver lining in the team’s 0-3 start, as he told Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel“It’s great, as much as it hurts to lose a game,” he said. “The learning experience is amazing. We’ve played some really good teams. All in all, it’s going to give us confidence and let us know we can compete with anybody.”

Hawks’ Owner Ressler Talks Murray, Hunter, Expectations

After acquiring Dejounte Murray from San Antonio in a blockbuster trade that saw them give up three first-round picks (two unprotected) and a pick swap, the Hawks expect to be a playoff team and not just a play-in club in 2022/23, team owner Tony Ressler tells Jeff Schultz of The Athletic.

Ressler conducted separate one-on-one interviews with Schultz and Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to discuss the Murray trade, his expectations for the team, and a handful of other topics.

The Hawks’ owner stressed in both conversations that the team will have to wait to get to the 20- or 30-game mark to get a real sense of where it stands in the Eastern Conference, but Atlanta got off to a solid start on Wednesday with a 117-107 victory over Houston.

Here are a few of the more notable comments from Ressler’s two interviews, which overlap a little but are worth checking out in full:

On whether there was much internal debate over making the Murray trade:

“Yes, there was a lot of debate. Dejounte is a great player, and we gave up a lot to get him. There wasn’t debate about the quality of Dejounte and what he would bring to the Hawks. And now, our starting five, I think we have a good team. (Wednesday) was only one game, but it did say, ‘Hey, we have four guys who can give you 20 points any night.’ And if that’s an aberration, then we screwed up, but we don’t think it’s an aberration. We’re deeper and better than we were last year.”

On whether the Hawks felt like they were mortgaging their future and opening up a win-now window with the Murray deal:

“I try not to speak that way. That’s not good business talk. Good business talk is, ‘Is this a good trade for us now?’ Not, ‘We have to win now.’ As you point out, that’s a lot for any player, and it’s worthy of evaluation and discussion. After losing in the first round of the playoffs, we saw a lot of things we can do better, and we thought Dejounte would help us do many of those things. And we do still have some picks for the future, so we can still draft young players for the future. We’re not out of that part of the business.”

On why the Hawks felt comfortable signing De’Andre Hunter to a four-year extension worth at least $90MM:

“De’Andre has done everything well. He’s had some bad luck in his first three seasons, health-wise, whatnot, injury wise, but you know what, he’s a kid that can do everything. And he’s a great kid, he’s a great player, wants to get better. And for whatever it’s worth, we believe he’s getting better, continuing to get better and off a pretty high bar. So that’s a kid that you’re thrilled to have here. I actually think he complements the rest of our guys beautifully.”

On the desire to bring an NBA championship to Atlanta:

“Franchises that have won a championship or multiple championships I have grown to respect even more. This is my eighth season, and we still haven’t won a championship. I’m proud of the direction we’re moving in. But to be a great, top-tier NBA franchise, you must win a championship. Some people in our franchise are, ‘We won one in St. Louis.’ I don’t count that. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t born. I don’t give a f–k. Our job is to win a championship or multiple championships, and we’re not there, yet.”

Hawks Notes: Murray, Young, J. Johnson, McMillan

The Hawks are committed to fixing the defensive issues that held them back last season, and trading for Dejounte Murray is an important part of that effort, writes Aaron Wilson of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta paid a high price for Murray, sending three first-round picks and a future pick swap to the Spurs, but it landed a 26-year-old All-Star guard with a team-friendly contract.

Murray excelled at both ends of the court in San Antonio, averaging 21.1 points per game and leading the NBA in steals with 2.0 per night. He seems like an ideal backcourt partner for Trae Young and said he’s ready to set the defensive tone for his new teammates.

“Defense is about showing effort,” Murray said. “I will bring what I learned both as a leader and vocally as everyone buys in. Everyone has to buy in and push each other and seeing everyone showing up was good. Ready to go compete and earn my team’s trust in training camp.”

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Young was a strong advocate for acquiring Murray and he believes they can succeed together, per Lauren Williams of The Journal-Constitution. In four NBA seasons, Young has never played alongside another guard with Murray’s defensive skills. “It’s hard to point out what he’s great at, but he’s good at everything — like defense, scoring, passing, rebounding,” Young said. “I mean, he’s really good at everything. So just having somebody who’s going to be just as dependent as I am in the backcourt, which is going to be the fun, I can’t wait to get started.”
  • Jalen Johnson looks forward to carving out a larger role after an offseason procedure to deal with tendinitis in his left knee, Williams adds in a separate story. The 20-year-old forward averaged just 5.5 minutes in 22 games as a rookie, and playing time may be even harder to come by with the offseason additions of Maurice Harkless and Frank Kaminsky. “He’s got to earn that opportunity,” coach Nate McMillan said. “He’s been here since August, and he’s working on doing that. He’s been playing and looking good. I thought last year, his play in the G League, he’s showing maturity and he’s showing some confidence and he’s looking forward to the challenge.”
  • McMillan visited Young’s Oklahoma City home in June to talk about improving their communication for the upcoming season, according to Paul Newberry of The Associated Press. McMillan wants to see Young become more of a team leader on and off the court. “He’s the face of the franchise and it’s something that he has just inherited,” McMillan said. “He will have to work at it and become better.”

Hawks Rumors: Collins, Hunter, Injuries, Murray

The Hawks kicked off the NBA’s Media Day season this morning, with general manager Landry Fields telling reporters that John Collins is “still here for a reason” after a summer of trade speculation, tweets Atlanta reporter Brad Rowland.

Trade talk is nothing new for Collins, who has seemingly been on the block since signing a five-year, $125MM deal last offseason. There were numerous rumors involving Collins leading up to this year’s draft, and he was reportedly part of the package the Hawks offered to Brooklyn in an attempt to acquire Kevin Durant.

Fields said Collins understands the situation and has remained professional (Twitter link). The GM added that Collins has expressed his opinion on the constant trade talks, but he understands what the team is doing (Twitter link).

There’s more from the team’s media session:

  • Fields said negotiations are continuing with De’Andre Hunter and the team hopes to have an rookie scale extension in place before the October 17 deadline, tweets Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to head coach Nate McMillan, Hunter has been able to go through normal workouts this summer, which he couldn’t do last offseason because of a medical procedure (Twitter link).
  • Fields also provided health updates on a few players, saying Bogdan Bogdanovic is “not going to be 100% for training camp” after having surgery on his right knee in May (Twitter link). The team is focused on getting Bogdanovic back to full health at some point during the season, Fields added. He also said first-round pick AJ Griffin has been “full go” for a few weeks following a foot injury that prevented him from playing in Summer League (Twitter link), and second-year power forward Jalen Johnson will also be ready for camp after a non-surgical procedure on his left knee (Twitter link).
  • McMillan was in constant contact with Trae Young as the Hawks worked out a trade with the Spurs for Dejounte Murray, Williams tweets. The coach added that Young is looking forward to having a chance to play off the ball this season. Fields admitted having two traditional ball-handlers in the backcourt might be “a little clunky at first,” but he expressed confidence that Young and Murray will figure out their roles (Twitter link).
  • Fields plans to keep the 15th roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The Hawks are about $1MM over the tax line, and Fields indicated the team’s performance will determine whether he tries to get back under the threshold. “It’s going to be a day-to-day thing,” he said.

Hawks Notes: Murray, Bogdanovic, Skyhawks

New Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, a 2022 All-Star with the Spurs, will help shore up Atlanta’s backcourt defense thanks to his abilities to track passes, steal the ball in a variety of ways, and gobble up rebounds at a high rate for his 6’4″ frame, John Schuhmann of writes in a detailed analysis of how Murray can help his new team right the ship following a disappointing 2021/22 season.

Starting alongside All-Star point guard Trae Young, Murray is a solid driver with the ball, an above-average passer (he averaged 9.2 APG last season), and an effective mid-range jump shooter, though Schuhmann notes that Murray struggles as a catch-and-shoot three-point shooter.

There’s more out of Atlanta:

  • Hawks shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has progressed to on-court work in his native Serbia as he continues to rehab following a May right knee surgery, reports Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. The 6’6″ wing is expected to be able to suit up for the Hawks’ preseason. Bogdanovic appeared in 63 contests for Atlanta in 2021/22, averaging 14.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.1 SPG, while posting shooting splits of .431/.368/.843.
  • Three players from the Hawks’ NBAGL affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, are playing on Team USA’s 12-man roster in the current qualifying window for the 2023 World Cup. Skyhawks personnel believes that’s another sign that Atlanta’s G League club can serve as a development hub for young talent, writes Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Skyhawks players competing with Team USA are DaQuan Jeffries, Langston Galloway and Malik Ellison“It validates a lot,” Skyhawks GM Tori Miller said. “Our end goal in College Park, it’s all about staff development and career developments and trying to create a pipeline of talent for the Atlanta Hawks… Knowing that we’re bringing in quality guys into the program, from a character standpoint and also from a talent standpoint, because being selected by Team USA, it’s more than talent, right?”
  • In case you missed it, free agent power forward Chris Silva has signed a contract with the Hawks, and appears poised to test his mettle in the team’s September training camp.

LeBron James Among NBA Stars in Seattle Pro-Am League

LeBron James highlights a list of NBA players who will participate in a Seattle pro-am league later today, according to

The league is called “The CrawsOver” in honor of founder Jamal Crawford, a Seattle native and longtime NBA player. Announcing James’ participation on Twitter, Crawford promises it will be “a day like we’ve never seen.”

“A lot of kids in this area especially have only seen their favorite players whether it be on TV or on video games,” Crawford said on ESPN’s “NBA Today” (Twitter link). “To see their favorite players right there in person, to reach out and touch them. And they may have interaction with you. If you’re a kid working to get better and to dream about being on that level, that makes your dreams more realistic.” 

Crawford added that he asks the area kids which NBA players they would like to see and he tries to get them to attend.

James also tweeted about the event, noting that it’s his first game in Seattle in more than 15 years. He was the featured attraction last month in the pro-am Drew League in Los Angeles, which marked his first public game since the NBA season ended.

Established stars such as Jayson Tatum, Dejounte Murray, Isaiah Thomas and Aaron Gordon are also scheduled to play today, along with first-round picks Paolo Banchero, Chet HolmgrenTari Eason and MarJon Beauchamp. There could be an opportunity for Murray and Banchero to renew their rivalry that began with an incident at Thomas’ pro-am game two weeks ago.

Fans can watch the game live on both the NBA app and It’s scheduled to tip off at 8:30 PM Eastern Time.

Southeast Notes: Mitchell, Beal, Kuzma, Porzingis, Adebayo, Hawks

The Wizards should be bold and acquire a star player like Donovan Mitchell to pair up with Bradley Beal, who’s now locked into a long-term contract, Josh Robbins of The Athletic opines. That pairing would put up big offensive numbers, but Washington would have to make other moves to cover for the backcourt’s defensive shortcomings. The front office would have to acquire defensive stalwarts at other spots to mask those defensive issues, Robbins adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards already have a “big three” in terms of offensive firepower with Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. As Hughes writes, the trio could compare to the mid-2000s Washington teams built around Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, which included an elite scoring guard plus two versatile, offense-driven frontcourt players.
  • Finding a bigger offensive role for Bam Adebayo is more complicated than many Heat fans might think, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes in his latest mailbag. If Tyler Herro is moved to the starting lineup, there would be fewer shots for Adebayo with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry already on the floor. For Adebayo to be effective, he may also need a floor spacer such as Max Strus or Duncan Robinson.
  • Trae Young believes outsiders are underestimating the impact of the Hawks’ acquisition of Dejounte Murray, as he told Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill on Goodwill’s podcast (Twitter link). “I don’t think people understand how dynamic of a backcourt (we) can be,” Young said. “Both can score 20-plus, both can get nine-plus assists a game. You can’t really double one or the other. If you do, you really pick your poison.”