[SAEN]在亚特兰大老鹰队的困境之中,圣安东尼奥马刺队收获颇丰

By Mike Finger, Columnist | San Antonio Express-News, 2024-04-18 16:22:45

由Gemini Pro人工智能翻译,译文内容可能不准确或不完整,以原文为准。


佐治亚州亚特兰大——2024 年 1 月 15 日:佐治亚州亚特兰大州立农场体育场,亚特兰大老鹰队的特雷·杨(11 号)在对阵圣安东尼奥马刺队时持球突破。

首先,德章泰·穆雷高举双臂,手掌朝天,这是普遍的“我们在这里干什么?”的肢体语言。

然后他低下了头,下巴几乎贴到了胸骨上,这是普遍的“我们在这里做的事情不太理想”的肢体语言。

最后,他喊着周三晚上无法听懂的话,紧握拳头,埋进自己队服的前襟,跺着脚,这是普遍的“嗯,我敢肯定这可能不会奏效”的肢体语言。

与此同时,在他曾经称之为家的城市?穆雷的前雇主们肯定至少会对他感到有点抱歉。

即使他们看到一个计划比他们希望的还要完美地汇集在一起。

亚特兰大正在经历悲惨的日子,本赛季另一场充满希望的 NBA 比赛迎来了丑陋的终点,这对圣安东尼奥来说是个好消息。

对于圣安东尼奥来说,这是一个好消息,因为如果穆雷与特雷·杨这对组合即将分崩离析,这意味着老鹰队明年将不得不卷土重来。

如果他们这样做,对于他们已经像强盗一样脱颖而出的交易伙伴来说,这是再好不过的时候了。

两个夏天前,当马刺队决定将时任他们最佳球员的穆雷送到亚特兰大时,他们不需要老鹰队变差才能让这笔交易变得有意义。如果穆雷-杨这对组合发展得很好,并且在形成亚特兰大能在未来五年中以此为基础的阵容的同时赢得了几轮季后赛,马刺队总经理布莱恩·赖特本可以凭借一两个末位首轮选秀权而感到高兴。

这可能会很好。但看看这笔交易现在看起来比它在 2022 年时要好得多。

首先,交易穆雷让去年的马刺队糟糕到足以赢得维克托·文班亚马选秀权。别提选秀权了。单是文班亚马就让这笔交易变得辉煌,让球队发生了翻天覆地的变化。

但我们并不仅仅只谈论文班亚马。而且我们不再谈论普通的旧选秀权了。现在,马刺队极有可能在 2025 年、2026 年和 2027 年获得亚特兰大的首轮选秀权,而其中每一个选秀权都将接近第 1 顺位,而不是第 30 顺位。

这些选秀权都不受保护。无论如何,2025 年和 2027 年的选秀权都属于马刺队。而且,如果老鹰队在 2026 年时表现得比圣安东尼奥更差(考虑到两支球队的明显轨迹,这似乎很有可能),马刺队有权在那一年与他们交换首轮选秀权。

因此,即使亚特兰大惨到连续三年在东部联盟垫底,老鹰队也没有任何收获。他们可以赢得三次选秀权,而其中每一个第一顺位选秀权都将归属那个已然拥有文班亚马的球队。

这听起来几乎不公平,但这就是老鹰队所做的豪赌。在交易穆雷时,他们的理由似乎并不完全牵强。将杨与穆雷这样的体型较大的后卫配对很有意义,而且在同一后场利用两位拥有控球后卫技巧的组织者这一想法也是如此。

不过,这个想法就是行不通。老鹰队在上赛季快速退出季后赛的途中取得了 41 胜 41 负的战绩,本赛季又后退了一步,在周三对阵芝加哥的附加赛中出师不利之前跌跌撞撞地取得了 36 胜 46 负的战绩。

这并不是穆雷的错。他对阵公牛队时表现出色,就像他在为老鹰队效力的前两个赛季的大部分时间里所做的那样,老鹰队在去年夏天用一份丰厚的合同延期奖励了他。但他与杨不来电,而这一点在周三上半场的最后几秒钟表现得尤其明显。

首先,杨对防守毫无兴趣,科比·怀特轻松超越了他,为公牛队投进了一个 3 分球。然后,在穆雷催促杨在球场另一端推进进攻后,杨想当然地给在左翼的穆雷传了一个背后传球,而穆雷被三名防守队员包围着,并且无法在蜂鸣器响起之前投篮。

这导致穆雷迅速地举起手臂,低下头,握紧拳头,跺脚。这不是一个对搭档联盟里天赋最高的前场魔术师之一兴奋地开始下半场——或另一个赛季——的人的形象。

因此,老鹰队现在开始休赛期,被迫决定是否要继续尝试让这段关系奏效,或者他们是否想交易自己的一位明星后卫。因为联盟中的其他球队知道老鹰队在这里没有多少筹码,他们可能无法为这两位中任何一位换取期望的回报。

如果他们不得不达成和解呢?他们的战绩可能会受到影响,而马刺队手中的选秀权也将持续走高。去年,亚特兰大帮助他们得到了文班亚马。在今后的几年里,老鹰队可以帮助他们得到一位或三位优秀的帮手,无论马刺队自己使用这些选秀权还是在重磅交易中使用它们。

这让穆雷感觉好受不了。但下次他做出普遍的“我们在这里干什么?”的手势时,他知道答案了。

他们让他的老东家笑了。

原文如下:

In the Atlanta Hawks’ misery, San Antonio Spurs have plenty to gain

[Image] ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 15: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at State Farm Arena on January 15, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

First Dejounte Murray cast his arms high and wide, palms facing skyward, the universal symbol for, “what the heck are we doing here?”

Next he dropped his head, his chin practically smacking off his breastbone, the universal symbol for, “what we’re doing here is not ideal.”

Finally, screaming something unintelligible Wednesday night, he clenched his fists, buried them into the front of his uniform and stomped his feet, the universal symbol for, “well, something tells me this might not work out.”

Meanwhile, back in the city he used to call home? Murray’s former employers had to feel at least a little bit sorry for him.

Even as they watched a plan come together even better than they’d hoped.

These are miserable days in Atlanta, where another NBA season with promise has reached an ugly end, and this is good news for San Antonio.

It’s good news here, because if the pairing of Murray with Trae Young is about to fall apart, that means the Hawks are going to have to start over next year.

And if they do, it couldn’t happen at a better time for a trading partner that’s already made out like a bandit.

Two summers ago, when the Spurs made the decision to ship Murray — then their best player — to Atlanta, they didn’t need the Hawks to be bad for the deal to make sense. If the Murray-Young pairing had thrived, and if they’d won a few playoff series while forming a nucleus Atlanta could build around for the next half-decade, Spurs general manager Brian Wright would have been happy with a couple of late first-round picks to show for it.

That would have been fine. But look at how much better the deal looks now than it did in 2022.

First of all, trading Murray made last year’s Spurs bad enough to win the Victor Wembanyama lottery. Forget the picks. Wembanyama alone makes the deal a smashing, franchise-altering success.

But we aren’t talking about Wembanyama alone. And we aren’t talking about regular-old draft picks anymore. Now, there is an excellent chance that the Spurs will wind up with Atlanta’s first-round selections in 2025, 2026 and 2027, and that each of them will be closer to No. 1 than to No. 30.

None of those picks are protected. No matter what, the 2025 and 2027 selections belong to the Spurs. And if the Hawks are worse than San Antonio in 2026 (which, given the apparent trajectories of the two franchises, seems pretty likely), the Spurs have the right to switch first-rounders with them that year.

So even if Atlanta is terrible enough to finish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference three years in a row, the Hawks won’t have anything to show for it. They could win the lottery three times, and every one of those No. 1 picks would be owed to the team that already has Wembanyama.

It almost sounds unfair, but that’s the gamble the Hawks made. At the time of the Murray trade, their rationale didn’t seem completely far-fetched. Pairing Young with a bigger guard like Murray made sense, and so did the idea utilizing two playmakers with point-guard skills in the same backcourt.

The idea just never worked, though. The Hawks went 41-41 on their way to a quick playoff exit last year, and took another step back this season, limping to a 36-46 record before their play-in embarrassment Wednesday against Chicago.

It wasn’t Murray’s fault. He played well against the Bulls, just as he did for most of his first two seasons with the Hawks, who rewarded him with a lucrative contract extension last summer. But he hasn’t clicked with Young, and rarely has that been more apparent than it was in the closing seconds of the first half Wednesday.

First, Young showed no interest in playing defense while Coby White breezed past him to set up a Bulls 3-pointer. Then, after Murray urged Young to push the action at the other end of the floor, Young wound up casually flipping a behind-the-back pass to Murray on the left wing, where he was surrounded by three defenders and had no hope of getting a shot before the buzzer.

That led to Murray’s raised arms and his dropped head and his clenched fists and his stomped feet, all in quick succession. It was not the look of a guy excited for another half — or another season — of playing alongside one of the most undeniably talented offensive magicians in the league.

So now the Hawks enter the offseason forced to decide whether they want to keep trying to make the relationship work, or if they want to trade one of their star guards. Because the rest of the league knows the Hawks don’t have much leverage here, they probably won’t get their desired return for either.

And if they have to settle? Chances are, their record will suffer, and the picks in the Spurs’ pockets will keep soaring in value. Last year, Atlanta helped them land Wembanyama. In the years to come, the Hawks can help them land a quality sidekick or three, whether the Spurs make those picks themselves or use them in a blockbuster trade.

This won’t make Murray feel any better. But the next time he makes the universal symbol for, “what the heck are we doing here?” he’ll know the answer.

They’re making his old team smile.

By Mike Finger, Columnist, via San Antonio Express-News