Ranking the 5 best draft day steals in Spurs history

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, DeJuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, DeJuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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2016 NBA Draft
Adam Silver, Dejounte Murray / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

4. Dejounte Murray

The 2021-22 season has concluded and Dejounte Murray showed everyone that he’s one of the top guards in the league, finishing the season averaging over 20 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists while leading the league in steals with 2.0. Selected 29th overall in 2016, Murray took his time to develop his game and become the focal point of the Spurs.

As the leader of the team, he was finally recognized by fans, media, and the league when he was named as a replacement for Draymond Green in this year’s NBA All-Star Game. Murray continued to increase his production. Finishing second in the Most Improved Player race, he capped off an amazing season.

Murray is still at the start of his career and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him. With a great organization and fanbase rooting for his success, Murray is going to be a great player.

San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard / Pool/GettyImages

3. Kawhi Leonard

Spurs fans might feel sour with the way Kawhi Leonard ended his stint with the team, but there is no doubt he is one of the greatest draft day steals ever. I know he’s not the usual player that gets drafted very late, but if you look at the players selected before him, you’ll get what I’m trying to say.

Some of the players selected before him, such as Derrick Williams, Jan Vesely, and Jimmer Fredette, are all out of the league and weren’t able to make a name for themselves. With the Indiana Pacers trading for George Hill on draft day, the Spurs secured the 15th pick in the first round of 2011.

The Klaw would slowly develop into one of the best two-way players in the league. Winning his first championship before getting his first All-Star selection, Leonard was the clear-cut leader in the post-Duncan era. However, after Duncan’s retirement, the relationship between the organization and Leonard became tainted, and he was shipped to the Toronto Raptors.

Leonard’s career is far from over and he can still make a huge impact for his current team, the LA Clippers. While some fans still haven’t gotten over how he forced his way out of San Antonio, I think they should just appreciate Leonard’s time with the team.