With the 29th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs have selected Dejounte Murray, a 19-year-old combo guard from the University of Washington.
Murray surprised scouts by declaring after just one season of college ball, but he was productive enough in his freshman year to be drafted. The 6'5" guard averaged 16 points, six rebounds and four assists while showing flashes of potential on both ends. Offensively, he projects to be an attacking point guard who pushes the ball in transition, while his length could allow him to develop into a solid defender in time.
Murray is young and raw, but the tools are there for him to develop into a solid NBA rotation player. He is a very good ball handler already, so he only needs to add strength to be a terror for opponents when he drives to the hoop.
His broad shoulders suggest his frame could sustain some extra weight, which not only would make him a more dangerous scorer, but also a more versatile defender able to take on some shooting guards. He was good at getting steals in college, but playing at just 170 pounds. really limited his ability to make an impact on his own end. Adding some muscle is a must.
Other than working on his body, Murray will need to hone his jumper and decision-making. He shot just 29 percent on three-pointers in college, but pulled the trigger over three timer per game from beyond the arc nonetheless. He only connected on 66 percent of his free throws, which suggests there's a lot of work to be done with his mechanics. If he doesn't develop an outside shot, he will only be able to play on the ball, which would limit his versatility severely.
The good news is he's very young. Not many 19-year-olds are finished products and Murray is no exception. He was clearly drafted on potential and will require patience. He was never supposed to be a one-and-done prospect and up until the middle of his college season, it didn't look like he was going to draw interest from the NBA, according to what his coach, Lorenzo Romar, told The Olympian's Christian Caple:
"Then Dejounte, more toward the middle of the year, you could just see that there was more and more interest from the NBA, all of a sudden they were coming to more of our practices, they were coming to all of our games, they were asking questions, so you could see it was coming."
With another college season under his belt, Murray might have been a lottery pick. That makes him good value this low in the draft, even if there's risk involved in selecting a guard who can't shoot and doesn't have evolved playmaking instincts.
Murray will have the opportunity to continue to develop in a professional setting. If he does, he could become a good rotation player down the line that gets his minutes thanks to his scoring ability, like his mentor Jamal Crawford.