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Freshman Dejounte Murray hopes to push the Pelicans to the next level

Coming off his best two seasons with the Hawks, Dejounte Murray was traded to New Orleans to continue his promising career. According to the guard, he is very grateful for the opportunity given to him in Atlanta, but he would not be too happy to come to the team that made the NBA playoffs in 2024 and is led by Zion Williamson.

The 27-year-old, who was present on Tuesday for his press conference at the Pelicans’ headquarters, believes that from now on his future will be determined by the results of the team, not the performance of an individual. “It’s a business and I don’t feel anything when it comes to front offices.

“You have to be careful, in the NBA, you have to win. It’s not in single player. You always have to do what’s best for your team and sometimes those are difficult things and I understand that,” said Murray.

In his own words, his main goal is to “work hard and be a great person,” he said. “It’s the same thing I try to tell the young guys coming into the league – control what you can control.”

Just two years ago in San Antonio, the athlete was named an All-Star when he averaged 21.1 rebounds, 9.2 assists and two steals per contest. That campaign was his last with the Spurs, the team that selected him as the 29th pick out of Washington in the 2016 NBA Draft.

While at Georgia, he averaged a career high of 22.5 points per game. Despite this, it has been sold for the second time in three years. “San Antonio was San Antonio, and Atlanta was Atlanta,” Dejounte said. “I’m in New Orleans as a Pelican and I’m excited about that — and that’s all that matters.”

“I understand my role. I am a basketball player. I’m not a GM,” said the 27-year-old woman on Tuesday. “I want to continue to grow as a man and a father and a basketball player. … I’m fitting in well and I think it’s going to be a smooth transition.”

According to the rookie, the Pelicans were “a great team” after winning 49 games in last year’s regular season.

In a way, Murray is trying to say that he feels his NBA career has been enhanced after signing a new contract in New Orleans. The point guard noted that the Pelicans were “already a great team” before his arrival, as their numbers from last season are proof enough.

The Louisiana club finished in 7th place in the Western Conference, despite subsequently losing against the Lakers in the Play-In tournament. Eventually, Williamson suffered a season-ending injury and the team was swept by top seed Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs. “They won 49 games and went to the playoffs, that speaks for itself,” he said.

Regarding the meeting with Zion, he believes that they will force each other out. “That’s our star and I’m happy to push him,” he said as Williamson attended a press conference ahead, smiling at the team’s newest player.

“I told him I was going to push him,” Murray said. “If I see something that I think he can be better at, if he sees something in me, we will be open about that. … I’m happy to push him to the next level because there are a lot of levels he can reach.”

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