Could Dejounte Murray be a yet another gem that the Spurs spotted when no one else paid attention?
Murray was one of the few players that the Spurs had an eye on during the draft, and felt lucky that he fell right into their plans. GM R.C. Buford called Murray a pretty supreme talent and appeared generally happy where they ended up despite having the 29th pick.
There was a very limited number of players that we were trying to move up for, and fortunately one of them came to us.
By the time the next NBA season starts, Murray will be 20 years old, and one of the young players that many felt got passed up on. He will be seen as a steal in the draft when it’s all said and done.
I’m a dude that’s willing to work, and I’ll never settle for less. I love working on my game, and I feel I can help them out in anything.
It’s not only refreshing to hear him speak this way, but he really means it.
Murray is one of the players that gets regular play in the summer against NBA level talent. He has been trained by Jamal Crawford (if you can see some of the resemblance in his game) and has also played with and against others such as Chris Paul and Tony Wroten. Murray has been seen holding his own against NBA talent, like other young stars before they played their first NBA game, in the Seattle Pro Am games.
You can watch a few highlights with Dejounte Murray in the video below.
After the draft, Murray said he talked to Gregg Popovich for 10 minutes and that was all Coach Pop needed.
He told me they want to turn me into a great player like they did Kawhi.
If you don’t know, Kawhi Leonard was a raw prospect with potential coming out of a small section of Riverside California, and attended San Diego State before entering the NBA. He has turned into an All Star with MVP level play, and growing into the leader of the team that will lead them into the future.
Popovich isn’t the only one who sees a spark in Murray, because The Vertical’s Woj tweeted on Thursday night prior to the selection about him.
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It seems from every angle, on both the college and pro level, that he is receiving praises as a basketball player, and had top notch potential to boot. Not only that, he is going to what LeBron James called one of the best organizations in the NBA.
Ironically, Murray couldn’t have fallen to a better place in the draft, because his foundation will be steady. He has a player in Leonard that he can look to and see the results of hard work, and he is instantly working within a winning organization.
When Leonard first came to the NBA, the knock was on his shooting, but assistant coach Chip Engelland helped him improve a great deal, and Kawhi led the NBA in the 2015-2016 season in three point percentage for the first half of the season. Those are the kinds of results Murray has to look forward to, and the type of expectations for his talents they believe will arrive there with proper training.
Buford capped it off nicely about what they were looking for, what they were trying to do, and how Murray fits directly into that plan.
We were searching for talent that we could help build and grow in our chemistry and our culture. Youth for our group is going to be important as we transition into our future.
Murray has the right foundation in San Antonio to become a great player, and the Spurs are hoping that he evolves into their next star.