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Scotto: Brooklyn Nets unwilling to part with two firsts for Atlanta Hawks’ Dejounte Murray

One night, you win a game with a buzzer beater, the next day, you’re in trade rumors. Such is life for an NBA player.

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Dejounte Murray was in the headlines and highlights Wednesday night and it had nothing to do with the Hawks rumored interest in moving him to another team...

Just proving his value to anyone who might be interested and it seems a foregone conclusion now that the Nets are among those interested with multiple NBA pundits and league sources putting Brooklyn right up there with LeBron’s team in L.A.

And on Thursday morning, Mike Scotto of Hoopshype suggested that indeed the Nets and Hawks have exchanged more than pleasantries, like maybe an offer.

Thus far, Brooklyn is shying away from Atlanta’s asking price of at least two first-round picks for Murray, HoopsHype has learned.

The Nets of course have some very valuable trade pieces, three more unprotected first rounders from the Suns’ trade, an unprotected swap with Phoenix, a 1-8 protected first from Philly in the Harden trade, plus several of their own, although two of them may have to be swapped with the Rockets. From what Scotto wrote, they don’t seem to want to trade much of the haul they got from Suns trade in particular. (They could of course add to their haul by trading Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith, both of whom could yield first rounders.)

So first round picks — and an expiring deal which the Nets have in Spencer Dinwiddie’s $18.9 million contract — seem to be what Atlanta wants for Murray. And indeed, Ian Begley reported this week Brooklyn and Atlanta “touched base earlier in the season” about a trade centered on Dinwiddie.

Is all this just an opening foray subject to negotiations? Almost certainly with the trade deadline exactly three weeks away. Will others offer more? Perhaps the same answer applies, but as Brian Lewis writes about the Nets,

And though there might not yet be fire with all that smoke, there are at least a couple of sparks.

Lewis also notes that while Murray is averaging better than 20 points a game playing off the ball with Trae Young, his best year came in San Antonio where he was on the ball. So, if you assume that the Nets acquire Murray and play him at the point, where does that leave Ben Simmons who is “in the home stretch” of his rehab after missing 34 games so far? He is making $37.9 million this season and $40.3 million next and as he will tell you in emphatic terms, “I am a point guard.”

It’s hard to imagine how the Nets would fashion a starting lineup out of a rotation that would include Simmons, Murray, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Cam Thomas at the least.

Not everyone thinks Murray is the answer. Here’s our Lucas Kaplan speaking with Clutch Points’ Erik Slater.

How soon might we learn? The deadline, as noted, is three weeks away and Simmons is expected back before then, maybe (but not likely) Tuesday vs. the Knicks at Barclays Center. No matter whether a point guard solution is external (Murray) or internal (Simmons), the Nets need it to get done.

We’re likely to hear more about it on Friday when the Nets player the Lakers on ESPN and no doubt Adrian Wojnarowski will be on the set. Stay tuned.