Tell me if you’ve heard this story before: The Spurs take a guy who fell further than his projected draft slot in the late 20s, everyone wonders why he fell so far, and everyone automatically assumes he’ll be a star because it’s the San Antonio Spurs.
That could certainly be the case here with the selection of Dejounte Murray, but be aware that even the Spurs are fallible – especially while picking so late in a flawed class. Murray has solid athleticism and good speed, but lacks both a jumper and several bits of polish that could see him struggle at the NBA level.
Murray shot just 29 percent from deep at Washington, and doesn’t even appear to have token 15-foot range shot at this point in his development. He did well in transition and attacking numbers advantages, but got by mostly on volume rather than quality here, actually grading out as a poor finisher at the rim. He doesn’t look to involve teammates as a first option, and has just average passing instincts.
His upside is very real defensively, with great height and length for either guard position at the next level. Issues have commonly cropped up with his effort level and willingness to apply high-level concepts on the defensive end, though, and he’s not explosive enough athletically to get by on quicks if he doesn’t apply himself.
All this said, it’s still the Spurs. They’re the league’s gold standard for player development, and them showing interest in a player is almost certainly a sign that at least something is going right for the guy. Chip Engelland is the most respected shooting coach in the league. They clearly see a path to turning Murray into a valuable NBA player; we’ll see if they can succeed once again.
Make sure to follow Basketball Insiders on Twitter at @BBallInsiders.