San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murray’s hot start is a sign of things to come

Even on a minutes restriction, point guard Dejounte Murray is shattering the expectations of San Antonio Spurs fans with his unwavering effort.

Amongst all of the intangible skills that go into the makeup of a professional athlete, heart is at the top of the list in terms of importance. Displaying passion on the court can not only hype up the fans and teammates, but can fuel the inner fire that helps a player give their best effort each time they step onto the hardwood.

Over the course of the last 20 years, the San Antonio Spurs have been powered by displays of heart and wisdom. Each of the franchise’s Big Three – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – proved this in their own ways and have since passed the torch to the next iteration of the silver and black. After quickly proving his dedication to the Spurs organization, point guard Dejounte Murray was introduced as the team’s floor general of the future.

Although he was sidetracked with an ACL injury last year, Murray is showing the world just how impactful he can be to start the 2019-20 regular season. Working through a minutes restriction, Murray is stuffing the stat sheet for San Antonio and has impressed greatly in only 23.5 minutes per contest.

The 23-year-old is averaging 18.5 points, nine boards, five assists and 2.5 steals in his first two games this season. He’s connected on 15-of-25 attempts from the field, 1-of-4 triples and all six of his free throws so far. Murray ranks third in the NBA in PER just behind Hawks sophomore Trae Young and Timberwolves cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns.

San Antonio proved its loyalty to Murray with a four-year extension just ahead of the recent deadline, assuring that the Seattle-native is a building block for years to come.

Few players have earned a level of trust and confidence as prominently as Murray has from head coach Gregg Popovich. From as early as his rookie year, Popovich has treated Murray differently from other young players by delegating responsibility to his floor general without concern. This extent of confidence is hard to come by from Pop and Murray continues to warrant it.

A Most Improved Player trophy isn’t out of the question for Murray. His defensive capabilities are well noticed around the league, but this is the first time that many will get a look at his potential as a three-level scorer. While he’s not the most consistent jump shooter, Dejounte is much improved in that area and has shown a more confident stroke since returning.

Even though he’s a young player, Murray has a lot to prove this season. He’s earned his contract extension, but he needs to shoot the ball well and get back to his All-Defensive Team status in order to reach some of the incentives available to him in that deal. There’s no doubt that the workhorse will do everything in his power to fulfill his potential and earn that extra cash.

Next: Implications of LaMarcus Aldridge's contract guarantee

Dejounte is slated to rock silver and black through the 2023-24 season and fans couldn’t be more excited. With their point guard on lock, the organization can continue its never-ending quest for a sixth banner at the AT&T Center.