The Spurs selected Dejounte Murray with the No. 29 pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Murray is coming off his freshman campaign at Washington, where he averaged 16.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
Murray has a lot of intangibles and tremendous potential, both of which he displayed in his lone season at Washington. With some patience, this could be a home–run pick for San Antonio.
Strengths: Murray is a natural scorer with an impressive handle and ability to get to the basket. His size and length translate extremely well to the NBA game, and while he’s a shoot-first guy at his core, he can make plays off the dribble as well. On raw talent, you can put Murray up there with any guard in the draft, with emphasis on “raw.” He’s an older prospect for his year, turning 20 in September, but there’s a lot of room for development if a team can afford to wait on him.
Weaknesses: As aggressive as Murray is, he’s predictably turnover-prone. He’s certainly not tentative. The tools are there, but his defense is very much a work in progress. He’s not an athlete of the highest caliber when it comes to explosiveness and he can be over reliant on shooting floaters. Improving his three–point shooting (28.8%) will be critical to unlocking his full scoring potential. Natural instincts can only get you so far in the NBA—there’s a large adjustment curve ahead.
Explanation: The Spurs had reportedly tried to move up in the draft. They didn’t, and still landed a late lottery-caliber talent. Murray’s a gifted ball handler with great size and scoring instincts, with the only question being his jump shot. San Antonio has a strong history of fixing that. His potential is through the roof for where he was drafted, and this might be the perfect fit. As the Spurs start looking toward the future, this is a player that can totally be a piece. He might be the successor in Manu Ginobili’s role down the line. - Jeremy Woo