Spurs Have Hit A Home Run With Dejounte Murray
The San Antonio Spurs have a history of grooming late first rounders and second round picks into legitimate all-stars and starting caliber players. The five-time champions have likely found another such gem in Dejounte Murray, who was drafted 29th overall by San Antonio last Thursday.Advertisement
With former Finals MVP Tony Parker on a rapid decline, Murray has all the requisite tools to replace the 34-year-old as the longterm point guard of the Spurs. Incidentally, Parker was drafted 28th overall by the Spurs in the 2001 Draft.
Dejounte Murray: An A+ selection
Murray was originally No. 9 on ESPN draft expert Chad Ford’s Big Board. Many insiders were shocked to see the Huskies guard drop to 29. Ford has given the Spurs an A+ rating for drafting Murray. “The Spurs continue to find ways to solve the draft from low positions. Landing Murray at No. 29 was the steal of the draft and earned the Spurs my only A+ of the night.”
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Ford continued: “Murray has a chance to be an All-Star-caliber guard. He’s terrific off the bounce, getting to the rim and making plays for others. He’s a great rebounder, he’s tough and he has a flair for passing the ball. He needs to become a better shooter, but it feels like the Spurs just added another important piece to their quiet rebuild.
Tony Parker once went to San Antonio at No. 28, and this pick could have a similar outcome down the road.”
Last month, there were premature reports that Spurs were pursuing Mike Conley in free agency. Perhaps, Murray’s selection means San Antonio can focus on Kevin Durant, who they are expected to meet when free agency begins next weekend.
Tony Parker’s replacement?
Murray, 6-5/170, averaged 16.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.82 steals in 33.5 minutes while starting all 34 games for the Washington Huskies in his one-and-done college career.
R.C. Buford, San Antonio’s general manager, said the team had scouted Murray for a long time. “There was a very limited number of players that we were trying to move up for (in the draft), and fortunately one of them came to us,” Buford said after Thursday’s NBA Draft.
“We were searching for talent that we could help build and grow in our chemistry and our culture. Youth for our group is going to be important as we transition into our future,” added Buford.
Dejounte Murray, initially projected to be a lottery pick, is seemingly excited to represent one of the greatest franchise in the history of the league. “I’m a dude that’s willing to work, and I’ll never settle for less. I love working on my game, and I feel I can help them out in anything.”