The Hawks have not shied away from the fact that they wanted to improve. So they took the plunge this week and traded for guard Dejounte Murray.

On Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility in Brookhaven, Hawks general manager Landry Fields and the organization introduced Murray to the fans. Fields shared the Hawks’ rationale for making the deal with the Spurs that sent veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, as well as multiple first-round picks to San Antonio.

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It all came down to the versatility that Murray would supply them with.

“The way in which we were going to do that was, are there any All-Stars out there that are available? Anybody that can help us defensively? Anybody that can be a secondary ballhandler, that can add leadership, that can add a level of toughness and character and a great value system for our organization?

“And with all those for us, we found it in Dejounte Murray right here. And we could not be more pleased and excited to add him to our Hawks family. He’s going to do great things for us. We welcome ... his friends, his family, to the organization, to the franchise. And for us, this is a big day in Hawks history. So we’re very, very glad to have him.”

The Hawks reached out to the Spurs ahead of last season’s trade deadline to inquire about which players were available. The Spurs weren’t ready to deal Murray yet, so the Hawks turned their attention elsewhere for the time being.

Once the offseason began, the two teams re-engaged and discussed the possibility of a trade. San Antonio hinted that a deal was possible, but made zero promises that it would agree to something. So the Hawks proceeded cautiously and eventually negotiated something that worked for both sides.

“It was just that Dejounte has been a great player for them,” Fields told the AJC. “Having been in the organization, I understand how they operate and how they do things, and we wanted to respect that process in the meantime, and make sure that if we were to get a deal done, it would be one that we were both sides were happy about. And I think both sides are happy about it.”

Murray echoed that both sides were, in fact, happy with how things turned out.

“You already have a great organization, you know excitement of the team, a young team that plays together and have fun together,” Murray said. “So, in adding myself (the Hawks) added somebody that wants to grow with them and build with them and have fun with them and win here.

“I think the main goal should always be winning. If you win, then everybody gets success. So, you know, that’s what I’m bringing, leadership, a great person off the floor, and on the basketball side, you know, I’m going to continue to get better. And, just bring a lot of toughness on both ends of the floor, basically.”

With Murray’s versatility on offense and defense, questions have come up about how he and Trae Young will fit together. The former Washington Husky has no reservations about playing alongside his fellow All-Star guard and has embraced the opportunity.

He added that he and Young are both players who strive to make those around them better. So, he said that they are both willing to share the ball to help the team.

“That’s a topic that, you know, I’m not hearing or seeing, you know, having two guards that could play make and make their teammates better,” Murray said. “Those are the teams that last. You know, the ones who make everybody around them better.

“And I think with Trae, he takes pride in that, you know, he’s able to score the ball at a high level, and then on my end as well, you know, I’m willing to give first. You know, I’m willing to do whatever the team needs me to do to win basketball games because I really want to win. And that’s, that’s the biggest thing. But like I said, I’m excited to play alongside (Trae).”

Hawks offseason moves

June 23: Selected AJ Griffin with the No. 16 pick. Drafted Ryan Rollins with the No. 44 pick and traded him to the Warriors for No. 51 pick Tyrese Martin and $2 million.

June 29: Obtained Dejounte Murray and Jock Landale from the Spurs in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, a 2023 first-round pick (from Hornets), 2025 first-round pick, 2027 first-round pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2026.

June 30: Free agents Delon Wright (Wizards) and Kevin Knox (Pistons) agree to deals with other teams.

June 30: Extended a two-way qualifying offer to last year’s draft pick Sharife Cooper.

July 1: Agreed to a one-year deal with free agent Aaron Holiday.

July 1: Traded Kevin Huerter to the Kings for Justin Holiday, Maurice “Moe” Harkless and a 2024 lottery-protected first-round pick.