SAN ANTONIO -- Here are a few quick thoughts on the San Antonio Spurs' first-round pick.
The pick: Dejounte Murray, guard, Washington
The Oklahoma City Thunder exposed San Antonio's lack of overall athleticism during the Western Conference semifinals, but perhaps the Spurs started remedying the situation by selecting Murray with the 29th pick.
At 6-foot-5, Murray possesses a 6-foot-11 wingspan and surprising athleticism, not to mention toughness and elite rebounding ability for a guard. ESPN's Chad Ford wrote that Murray also possesses what scouts call “the juice,” which is a certain feel for a game that allows a player to play instinctively without overthinking things.
Murray, 19, won't be able to get by on athleticism alone, and although he averaged 16.1 points as a freshman last season at Washington, his jump shot is a work in progress. Murray connected on just 28 percent from deep and 34 percent from the field. Luckily, Murray joins a team such as the Spurs, who have a knack for developing younger players (see Kawhi Leonard). If San Antonio maintains a level of patience with Murray, the young guard possesses the potential to blossom into one of the steals of this draft.
By the numbers: 16.1 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, 4.4 assists, 1.8 steals.
Draft provides no clues on futures of Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan: Ginobili declined to pick up the $2.9 million option on his deal for the 2016-17 season Wednesday. While the Spurs expect the veteran to be back in the fold for at least next season on a new contract, there are no guarantees as Ginobili hasn't yet made a decision. Both Ginobili and Duncan are contemplating retirement, and San Antonio's lone selection on Thursday didn't provide any insight on what the club is thinking regarding their potential returns.
The Spurs have several free agents in Matt Bonner, Boban Marjanovic (restricted), Kevin Martin, Andre Miller and David West, who also declined to pick up his player option next season. They entered the draft needing to improve overall athleticism while upgrading at the backup guard spot, a position at which the club struggled tremendously during the postseason.