While Victor Wembanyama is putting up fantastic numbers in his rookie campaign for the San Antonio Spurs, the supporting cast around him hasn't reached their potential quite yet. While the Silver and Black have many intriguing young players, they haven't seemed to figure out how to best compliment their star center quite yet.
One of the biggest reasons for this is the lack of a truly established point guard. The Jeremy Sochan point guard experiment was a letdown, and aside from the steady play of Tre Jones, there is a lack of depth and experience at the position. However, recent rumors have linked the current Hawks point guard, Dejounte Murray to a possible reunion with San Antonio.
During his time in Silver and Black, Murray established himself as one of the best two-way floor generals in the league, earning an All-Star appearance in 2022 while averaging 21-9-8. If DJ decides to let bygones be bygones and return to the 210, he might be able to elevate Wembanyama's game (and his own) to a new level.
The Murray and Wembanyama duo could be dangerous
It's no secret that the Spurs have done a lackluster job of getting Victor Wembanyama involved in easy looks around the basket. Highlights and clips on social media show his teammates throwing errant lobs and sometimes just flat out, not seeing their 7'4 center under the basket.
Despite these offensive mistakes, the Spurs are surprisingly one of the best teams in the NBA when it comes to pace. San Antonio posts a pace factor of 102.1, which is currently third in the league. With a high-paced team and its star player able to move up and down the court so quickly, they need a point guard that can match that tempo and produce at an elite level.
The team had a similar pace rating when Dejounte Murray was last with the team (pace factor of 100, 6th best in the NBA in 2021-22), and his playmaking and shot-creating ability can fit right back in with this year's squad.
San Antonio also has the potential to have one of the best pick-and-roll duos in the league if Murray is paired with Wembanyama. The Hawks are leading the league in pick-and-roll ball handler offense, averaging 23.3 points per game, and Murray has been a big reason for that. Pairing Wembanyama with DJ gives the guard a lob threat, unlike anything he's ever had. With his skills as a passer, the duo could be one of the hardest in the league to contain.
On the defensive end, the Spurs still have a long way to go when it comes to being one of the league's best. The team ranks 25th in defensive rating and is allowing their opponents to shoot nearly 50% from the field.
However, Victor Wembayama has been a massive bright spot for the Silver and Black on the interior, using his 8-foot wingspan to average more than half of San Antonio's 5.9 blocks per game (9th in the league). On the perimeter, the Spurs have capable defenders in Vassell, Tre Jones, and Keldon Johnson, but they can struggle against some of the best guards in the league.
Dejounte Murray could provide his old team with a player who can match up well against even the deadliest of scorers. Murray is currently averaging 1.4 steals per game, which is more than anyone on San Antonio's roster, and he has the unique combination of size and speed to disrupt opponents and cause turnovers.
Having him as a defensive presence can take a lot of pressure off of Wembanyama when it comes to switching screens and getting caught in mismatches, allowing the center to do what he does best: roam and protect the paint.
Things to consider before a Dejounte Murray deal
While there are clear benefits to pairing Dejounte Murray alongside Victor Wembanyama, that doesn't mean that bringing back the former Spur wouldn't come with some caveats. With the 4-year/$120 million dollar extension Murray signed in Atlanta he won't become an unrestricted free agent until 2028.
That's a lot of time and money to commit to a player who has been vocal in his disdain for the franchise in the past. However, it seems that the bad blood between DJ and the Spurs has faded for the most part, and with the potential of playing with a generational talent like Wembanyama, it's a hard opportunity to pass up.
Murray has had experience playing with superstars like Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge in the playoffs. He's dealt with a serious injury and has made an All-Star team. There's no doubt that he'll be a positive veteran presence among the young Spurs, and having already played with most of them under Coach Popovich, he can fit seamlessly into the team upon arrival.
Whatever the Silver and Black decide to do at the trade deadline, it's hard not to get excited about what moves they will make to build around Victor Wembanyama. Who knows? The answer might be closer to them than they think.