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San Antonio Spurs: 2022 season's most likely breakout star

Dejounte Murray - San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers
Dejounte Murray - San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers / Steph Chambers/Getty Images
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The San Antonio Spurs had somewhat of a forgetful 2020-21 season. Or at least that would be the consensus if you don’t follow the team closely and don’t have a vested interest in their future. I would say, however, that while last season was certainly a disappointment for fans of the team, it was not forgetful. 

Although other young players around the league received more frequent headlines and attention this past season, the Spurs have a player that deserves mention as one of the most promising young players at his position. Dejounte Murray deserves more love moving forward.

As a point guard with a 6’10” wingspan and the defensive instincts to disrupt opposing offensive sets, who has also improved every year he’s been in the league, Murray is poised to make an even bigger leap this coming season. And I’m betting on that leap coming whether or not DeMar DeRozan is back rocking the silver and black. 

Murray’s biggest weakness up to this point has been his offensive repertoire, or rather, his lack of one. That’s not meant to be a slight either. Murray is an excellent athlete who is good at slithering between bigger defenders in the paint for a bucket, where he scores 45.9 percent of his points. 

He’s also quite dangerous in transition where he collects 15.6 percent of his points. His ability to get into the paint and get out in transition is how he’s able to average nearly 16 points per game without a consistent jumper or the ability to get to the free-throw line at an average rate (only 2.0 attempts per game).

Dejounte Murray is the embodiment of a leader for the San Antonio Spurs

While his weaknesses are easy to highlight, I’m high on Murray because of his self-awareness and willingness to take on a leadership role among the younger guys on the roster. 

Murray is a player who has consistently used each offseason to add to his game. And following the Spurs' disappointing 100-96 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in their play-in game this past season, he has made it clear he’s ready to put in the work with the rest of his teammates to come back even better. I, for one, believe him.

Regardless of who’s on the roster next season, Murray should be empowered to shoot more often. He should also study film of players like Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard and learn how to best leverage his physical gifts to earn more free throw attempts. 

Murray posting a 20-6-6 on efficient shooting numbers next season isn’t far-fetched by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I’m expecting it after seeing what Murray can do.

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If the Spurs make it clear he is their franchise guy moving forward and he comes back with an improved jumper, he has a chance to be in the running for the Most Improved Player award. The time for Murray to seize control of this team is now, and Spurs fans will soon have the opportunity to see if he's ready for that challenge.

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