The San Antonio Spurs added youth and athleticism to their roster last night, selecting Washington’s Dejounte Murray with the 29th pick of the NBA Draft. Heading into the draft, multiple experts projected Murray as a top-15 pick and the third-best combo guard available. At 6-foot-5, with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Murray’s game has been described as uninhibited, while possessing an almost playground-like flow.
“He's an athletic guard,” Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford told reporters on draft night. “He's pretty good in transition. He needs help finishing and from a shooting standpoint he's gotta get a lot more consistent and disciplined, but this is a developmental piece so we'll get him into our building and we'll know a lot more about him after the summer.”
Born and raised in Seattle, Murray hopes to join standouts Isaiah Thomas, Nate Robinson, and mentor Jamal Crawford as fellow Emerald City guards to excel in the NBA. Only 19-years-old, Murray possesses the instincts and length to potentially defend at the highest level. When asked what he could contribute to a team that just won 67 games, Murray referenced the Spurs’ resident stopper.
“You know, high motor, like Kawhi Leonard; a dude that's willing to work, and I'll never settle for less, never get comfortable,” said Murray at the draft. “I love working on my game, and I feel I can help them out in anything. I feel like my potential of doing everything and my faith and the heart I have for the game and the love I have for the game, I feel like I'll help them out really well.”
With Tony Parker, Patty Mills, and possibly Manu Ginobili still in the fold, it’s hard to imagine Murray posting significant minutes at the point guard position. Much like Cory Joseph, another Spur drafted after his freshman year, Murray should see plenty of time in Austin, honing his skills in the development league. Depending on when his contract is signed, Murray could give Spurs fans another reason to tune into Summer League action, which tips off next month.