The Spurs had one draft pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. They would make the most of it as they selected Dejounte Murray continuing their list of steals in the draft.
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The Spurs have a knack for players landing in their laps and turning them into gems through their careers. Tony Parker (1st round, 28th pick), Manu Ginobili (2nd round, 57th overall) and Kyle Anderson (1st round, 30th pick) are draft picks that were selected in later rounds that are still with San Antonio and we know the careers that two of these stars have, Hall of Fame type.
Murray was the latest draft pick for San Antonio. Though he has not logged a minute with the team during regular season, he did show his strength and areas to work on during the teams summer league play in Las Vegas.
Murray averaged 10.8 points, but on 31.9 percent shooting; he led the team with 2.4 steals per game, and also with 3.6 turnovers; he struggled to hit consistency from deep.
In a recent survey of 38 rookies conducted by the NBA. Murray led all rookies with 16.1 percent of the votes. Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis garnered 12.9 percent of the votes, while six others collected 6.5 percent each.
“He’s got a lot of raw talent.” – Becky Hammon on Murray
Most seem to agree that Murray possesses boundless potential – the challenge will be harnessing that latent ability.
Murray was named Washington’s Mr. Basketball in 2015. Not projected as a one-and-done prospect, having a stellar freshman year averaging 16.1 points, six rebounds and four assists pushed him to declare for the draft.
During his time in Las Vegas with the team, Spurs assistant coach and head coach of their summer league Becky Hammon sees the potential in Murray. “He’s got a lot of raw talent,” Becky Hammon, the Spurs’ summer league coach, said of Murray. “He’s only 19. We’re trying to rein him in, but still give him the freedom to be who he is.”
Murray will have an edge unlike any other rookies in the league. His outside shooting, as he has stated is his concern. He will get the attention needed with one of the leagues best, Spurs assistant Chip Engelland.
“I’m a dude that loves to work, so me and him are going to get along with each other well,” Murray said in Vegas. “(Engelland) told me to be ready to work. I’m looking forward to it.”
We all know the work that Engelland can do. Just look at the production of Kawhi Leonard. Murray will be in good hands. Seeming as he is a hard worker (Instagram photos prove his worth ethic), he looks to do what is needed to become a better player for San Antonio.
Training camp is right around the corner. It is going to take time to see improvement from one player but one thing is for certain, the Spurs by other rookies in the league, got the biggest steal of the draft.