The Utah Jazz passed on Dejounte Murray for Keyonte George and we think that was a mistake

The Utah Jazz nearly landed Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks v Utah Jazz
Atlanta Hawks v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Rumors were flying every which way during the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline about what the Utah Jazz were planning on doing. The squad could have made a few calculated trades to bolster their roster and make a push for the 2024 NBA Playoffs, or sell off some key assets with the idea of bolstering the draft packages they could build to. They chose the latter and opted to instead focus on the 2024 NBA Draft.

Now the draft is here and so are reports about a trade that almost happened. According to KSL's Ben Anderson, the Utah Jazz wanted Dejounte Murray on their squad, but the Atlanta Hawks weren't budging unless they got back Keyonte George. The Jazz were not open to the idea, obviously, as George finished out the season with the Jazz, but it's clear that Murray was the player the team wanted.

We heard rumors after the deadline closed that the Jazz were close to landing a player that would've changed the course of the team's season, and it seems that Murray was that guy. If I'm being honest, it was probably a trade the Jazz should've made.

I don't pretend to know what George will develop into. He may be the next great point guard, it's entirely possible, but the odds aren't on his side and it's far more likely he turns into his generation Elfrid Payton; but who knows? I don't. What I do know is the Utah Jazz needed perimeter defense at the guard position and a playmaker who can contribute to the success of Lauri Markkanen and the Utah Jazz as a whole.

That was quite easily Murray. He's not an elite player by any means, and it's made clear by Anderson that the trade would've included George for Murray but that it may not have been a one-for-one situation, so there may have been more to the trade than with George tacked on, was too much for the Jazz to stomach giving up.

That said, I think had the trade not included any major issues, like multiple-first-round picks and George, I don't see why you wouldn't make that trade. Murray is a great player right now and he fits in the time frame with what the Jazz want to do with Markkanen.

Plus, pairing him with Kris Dunn and Walker Kessler would likely see his defensive prowess return to form and you wouldn't have to worry about the revolving door of guards that were George and Collin Sexton. It would've broken up that logjam and given the Jazz a sizeable defender to help improve the defense.

The team can't win with Sexton and George playing together, and this trade would've resolved that issue. I'm not high on George and would rather take someone like Murray, who I know can be an elite-caliber player (at least on defense) than put all my eggs in the basket of a youngster.