San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray on his role for 2017-18 season
By Rob Wolkenbrod
San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray spoke about his potential role for the 2017-18 season at Day 2 of training camp.
Dejounte Murray started his second season with the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, when the team opened training camp for 2017-18. He spent his first year in the D-League (now the G-League) and the NBA, along with a stint in the Spurs’ postseason games.
Murray accumulated this experience at just 20-years-old, after he left college for the NBA in 2016. The Spurs selected him at No. 29 overall in that year’s draft and gave him enough time to get a test of the Association.
The 2017-18 season will be a bigger taste of the NBA for Murray. To open the year, backup point guard minutes might be available, with Tony Parker’s recovery from a torn quad. Given recent comments from the Frenchman, that may not last long.
Either way, Murray should at least get a larger role for his second season. He spoke about this at Day 2 of Spurs Training Camp and noted what head coach Gregg Popovich looked for from him:
“Coming in this year, Coach Pop told me he needs me to talk 24/7, so that means a lot to me. I feel like I’m a leader. I’m earning my respect through the league, with my teammates still and the coaches. Having your head coach tell you to be a leader and be vocal, on and off the floor, and that’s enough for me. It’s a game jump. Last year I was coming in as the guy behind everybody, trying to listen and hear. Now, I’m one of the dudes that know all the plays and know what it takes to get it going.”
Day 2 of Training Camp in the books! pic.twitter.com/VP5uuKFBxV
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) September 27, 2017
The comments sounded like Murray soaked in what Popovich said already, with an understanding of what the coaching staff wanted out of him in the early days of camp. Look for that to play out at the start of the preseason and regular season in October.
In the Washington product’s rookie season, he played in 38 games for the Spurs and averaged 3.4 points, 1.3 assists, and 1.1 rebounds on 43 percent shooting (39 percent from 3-point range). According to Basketball-Reference, this equated to 14.5 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in his Per 36 Minutes numbers.
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Murray and the Spurs will take the court on Tuesday, Oct. 2, to face the Sacramento Kings in the first preseason game of the season at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA.