Report: New Orleans Pelicans more interested in Dejounte Murray than Trae Young

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read
James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans may be looking to acquire some guard help in the offseason. Apparently, they also had contact with the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the 2024 trade deadline, perhaps to ask about some of the talented guards those teams have.

No trade came to fruition, but the Pelicans could reportedly restart trade talks with the Hawks and Cavs in the summer.

“The Pelicans had contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks before the trade deadline in February,” wrote Christian Clark of “Expect those talks to resume this summer. The Cavaliers and Hawks have three All-Star guards between them in Darius Garland, Dejounte Murray and Trae Young who could be available.”

Some might think that Young should be the No. 1 target for any squad engaged with Atlanta in trade talks. After all, he is a three-time All-Star who has averaged double digits in assists in his two most recent campaigns and holds a career average of 25.5 points per game.

However, New Orleans is said to be more interested in possibly making a deal for Murray.

“If the Pelicans reengaged the Hawks, they could look to pry away Murray or Young,” Clark added. “Even though Young is the more talented player, the Pelicans seem to hold more interest in Murray, league sources said. The 6-5 Murray is not as much of a defensive liability as the 6-1 Young can be. He is also on a cheaper contract; Murray will make $25.5 million next season, while Young is owed $43 million.”

Considering that the Pelicans already have an undersized guard in C.J. McCollum, it makes sense for the franchise to look for a backcourt addition who is less likely to be exploited by opposing defenses. At 6-foot-5, Murray has exhibited stellar two-way abilities that the 6-foot-1 Young has never been able to display throughout his career.

The fact that the former San Antonio Spurs point guard is on a cheaper deal might also make it more palatable for New Orleans and easier to construct a package of matching salaries.

It remains to be seen how the Pelicans can bolster their roster in hopes of becoming legitimate title contenders. It has been six years since the team last reached the Western Conference semifinals. New Orleans did it in the 2018 postseason when Anthony Davis was still on the squad. Since then, the franchise has booked two playoff trips, although it was eliminated in the first round in both cases.

It’s not that the Pelicans have lacked talented players in recent years. After all, they have Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Unfortunately, the former All-Stars have found it difficult at times to shed their injury-prone tags and stay on the floor.

Perhaps next season, the team’s roster will look drastically different and give the Pelicans a better chance of making some noise in the Western Conference.

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Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.