Dejounte Murray, the 29th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has great talent, size, athleticism, and potential.
Murray appears to be yet another prospect that has great talent, but slipped to the Spurs.
With Tim Duncan’s retirement, Boris Diaw’s trade, and Matt Bonner being on his way out, it is clear that the Spurs are turning their attention to youth. The Spurs signed two un-drafted free agents, and brought over two young international prospects to join the squad in addition to selecting Murray in the first round.
March 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies guard Dejounte Murray (5) dunks the basketball against the Stanford Cardinal during the first half of the Pac-12 Conference tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
There is a log jam in the backcourt now, though, with Tony Parker and Patty Mills established at the point guard spot, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green established at the shooting guard spot with Johnathon Simmons fighting for a bigger role. So adding three guards in Murray, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Bryn Forbes really makes things complicated, which is why fans should not expect too much from Murray this year.
There are really two options for Murray this season: he could be sent to the Austin Spurs for most of the year and plays very seldom for San Antonio, and we all wait until next year to see his real unveiling. Or he could stay with the team virtually full-time, feature every now and then unless he suddenly breaks out and commands playing time.
Staying in San Antonio would mean Murray would feature as the third point guard on the team. Though, the rookie would serve as a backup during the inevitable Parker rest games. Should Murray stay with the Spurs throughout the year and see quick development, he could prove as a crucial piece off the bench. Murray possesses great size for a point guard, standing at 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan- the type of guard in which the Spurs really haven’t had before.
Another characteristic of Murray that the Spurs haven’t seen very much in their guards, is his fantastic athleticism. He can race down the court and finish emphatically at the rim, as well as keep up with the more athletic guards of the league. This, hopefully, means that the days of seeing the Spurs point guard physically outmatched are gone.
These unique traits could prove so vital for San Antonio, and add yet another dimension to the complex style that the Spurs possess.
Regardless of how much Murray features, it should be a joy to watch him when he does. His athleticism, handle, and defensive prowess will be a sign of the new era of youth in San Antonio.
While he does need to work on his outside shot and its consistency, Murray will bring previously unseen qualities for a Spurs guard, and be somewhat of a glimmer of hope as Spurs fans look towards the future.