Should Dejounte Murray Be Permanently Off the Spurs' Trade Block?

2022 NBA All-Star Game
2022 NBA All-Star Game / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

This season hasn't been the struggle-free ride that some San Antonio Spurs fans may have naively hoped for, but seeing Dejounte Murray show out at All-Star Weekend almost made it all worth it. Murray has been one of the most dominant two-way players in the NBA this season and he put his peers and casual fans on notice with his impressive play and showmanship during the All-Star Game.

The Spurs have had All-Stars on their team over the past five years but somehow, seeing DJ make the All-Star game seemed to mean more to Spurs fans than when LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard were selected. Aldridge had come to San Antonio as an established star and had already made several All-Star games in his career. Leonard was a Finals MVP before he was an All-Star and seemed destined to participate in the game. It was never a sure thing for Murray.

From late first-round pick to All-Star, Murray's rise in San Antonio has been one of the most enjoyable storylines to follow as a fan of the team. He's overcome every adversity that's been thrown at him along the way and has continually grown as both a player and a leader. He's the face of the franchise. But does that mean he should be permanently removed from any potential future trades?

Should the Spurs hold Dejounte Murray out of trades as longs as he's in San Antonio?

On its face, it might seem like a silly question. Murray just made his first All-Star game, is just beginning to enter his prime, and is one of the most versatile players in the league. Why would the Spurs want to trade him?

The simple fact of the matter is that there are very few players in the league who are really untradeable. Think perennial MVP candidates such as Giannis, Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Steph Curry. And even those guys can force a trade if they really want to.

But for better or worse, the Spurs have always done things differently. Sure, they may have shaken things up at the trade deadline this year to put themselves in a position to reshape their team this summer, but don't expect that to become the new normal. Brian Wright isn't Daryl Morey and I would be stunned to see him go out of his way to shop his star player, even if it could land someone better in return.

There's a fundamental difference between being the face of the franchise and being your team's best player. Chris Paul might be the best player on the Phoenix Suns, but Devin Booker is the face of the franchise. When Kevin Durant was in Golden State, he was the best player on the Warriors but there was no question who the face of the franchise was. In San Antonio, DJ is clearly the man the Spurs are putting their chips behind. He is that dude. And players like that rarely ever get traded.

Dejounte's role in San Antonio is made even more crucial by the place he holds in Spurs history. He's the last carryover from the Big Three era, the last man on the team who really played with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. He's been a constant presence throughout the past few years of soul searching and realignment that the Spurs have had to go through. That's the kind of experience that the organization is going to need both on the court and in the locker room if this rebuild is going to be successful.

So is Dejounte permanently off the Spurs trading block? Sort of. If the Milwaukee Bucks called offering a one-for-one swap for Giannis I would fully expect Murray to be on the next flight out of San Antonio. But barring that - yeah, get used to seeing Dejounte in a Spurs uniform.

Next. 3 Ways Murray's All-Star Selection Can Open More Doors. dark

He's the face of the organization now and he's not going anywhere any time soon.