San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray lands on top 100 list

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 1: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks with Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Houston Rockets on April 1, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 1: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks with Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Houston Rockets on April 1, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
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San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray has steadily improved over his first two seasons, which landed him on Sports Illustrated’s top 100 list.

The San Antonio Spurs felt like they got a major steal when they selected Dejounte Murray with the 29th pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.

Murray was incredibly raw after spending one year in college at Washington, but he clearly had the potential to become an elite defender and improve his offensive game.

At 6-foot 5-inches with a 6-foot 10-inch wingspan, it was obvious that the Spurs’ front office thought Murray’s physical traits would help him develop into a defensive stopper, especially in Gregg Popovich’s successful system.

Murray struggled to get much playing time as a rookie, but his defensive ability showed itself in his second NBA season.

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Last year Murray ranked among the top ten in the league in defensive real plus-minus ahead of players like Joel Embiid and Draymond Green, and he was the top-ranked point guard by that metric.

Murray’s length helped him swipe 1.2 steals per game in 21.5 minutes per night, which extrapolates to 2 steals per 36 minutes.

While Murray has already become one of the NBA’s best defenders, he still has a long way to go on the offensive end.

He scored 8.1 points per game last season with an ugly true shooting percentage of 48.5%. The second-year point guard was a decent distributor dishing out 2.9 assists per game, but the Spurs’ coaching staff still wants him to improve in that area in year three.

Murray ranked number one amongst point guards in defensive real plus-minus, but he ranked 85th out of 99 players at the position in offensive RPM.

You can guarantee that Murray was working tirelessly on his shot and his overall ability to run the offense this offseason as he looks to make a third year leap.

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Next. Three goals for DeMar DeRozan in 2018-2019

Dejounte Murray came in at number 89 on Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney’s list of the top 100 players in the league this year, and with some offensive improvement he could be much higher on that list in 2019.

Check out what we think of the other Spurs ranked on this top 100 list:

LaMarcus Aldridge

DeMar DeRozan

Pau Gasol

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