Spurs draft pick Dejaunte Murray impressed in his Summer League debut, scoring 21 points and grabbing 5 rebounds against the Boston Celtics in Utah. Celtics guard Terry Rozier welcomed Murray to the NBA with a game winning triple, as the Spurs fell in a tight 87-86 contest. Kyle Anderson continued to lead the way for San Antonio, notching 23 points of his own to match Rozier.
The scene now shifts to Las Vegas for the Spurs, where Anderson and company will defend their Summer League title this weekend. Led by Coach Becky Hammon, San Antonio took top honors at the tournament last summer, with Anderson and Jonathan Simmons playing MVP caliber ball. Simmons set a new scoring mark at the Utah Summer League earlier this week with 35 points, giving the Spurs an intriguing offensive combo of Anderson, Murray and Simmons in Vegas.
With Ryan Arcidiacono, Bryn Forbes, and Angel Rodriguez also on the roster, Coach Hammon has plenty of backcourt options at her disposal. Arcidiacono and Rodriguez were standouts throughout this season’s NCAA tournament, and Forbes displayed a confident shooting stroke in Utah that garnered comparisons to former Spur Gary Neal.
After trading Boris Diaw to the Utah Jazz for guard Olivier Hanlan, and the departures of both David West and Boban Marjanovic via free agency, San Antonio is in need of quality bigs off the bench. At 7-feet, 245 pounds, Dewayne Dedmon was a solid pickup for the Spurs, and the Vegas tournament should help indicate if center Cady Lalanne is ready to contribute at the next level. Selected with the 55th pick of the 2015 draft, Lalanne has shown promise with the Austin Spurs, but doubt remains as to whether he can contribute in San Antonio.
The Summer Spurs tip off their title defense on Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors, followed by a showdown with the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday evening. Opponents can expect to have their hands full with Anderson and Simmons at the wings. As a new super team continues to assemble in Oakland, this could be the last championship that any squad, other than the Warriors, wins in a while.