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Dejounte Murray Underrated
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Dejounte Murray: The Underrated Superstar Who Deserves More Respect

Dejounte Murray Underrated
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Dejounte Murray: The Underrated Superstar Who Deserves More Respect

My series of highlighting players who I think are better/worse than the general consensus continues with Dejounte Murray, who is quietly having a ridiculously impressive season that nobody seems to care about. Maybe it’s because the Spurs are “boring”, maybe it’s because he doesn’t break ankles or hit 5 three-pointers a game, but it’s undisputed that at this point Dejounte Murray is underrated.

Always Improving

Murray came into the league in 2016 as a very raw, high-potential prospect who needed to be coached and developed in order to reach his potential. Since that year, his points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game have all gone up every single year, proof that he has never stopped putting the work in. This year, Murray is on pace to be the first player ever to average career bests in points, rebounds, assists, and steals in the same season, a truly breakout year for the young guard. Already with 10 triple-doubles this year, Murray has tied David Robinson for the most career triple-doubles in Spurs history, with 14. Murray should 100% be in the discussion for filling out the West’s All-Star roster this year, and he would surely get my vote. A commitment to improving this much each year is rare, the this year Murray has finally been able to put it all together, currently averaging 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 9.1 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.

Spurs Aren’t A Joke

Ok, this may seem like an overreaction, because the Spurs haven’t been a great team this year, and everybody knows they will not win the championship. Though as of today, seven other NBA teams have a worse record than the Spurs, and most casual fans would have trouble naming anybody else on the team besides Murray. Without him, the Spurs would sink into complete irrelevance, damaging the legacy the franchise has had for the past couple decades. Murray is first on the Spurs in player efficiency rating and win shares, meaning the team relies on him much more than anybody else to stay competitive, and the team currently sits just 2.5 games out of the play-in tournament in the West.

Makes Teammates Better

The strongest characteristic of a great point guard is whether or not they make their teammates better, and Murray’s ridiculous assist numbers this year paint that picture. Murray currently sits at fourth in the NBA in assists per game, the three players in front of him all having great teammates around them that are able to facilitate scoring opportunities. James Harden has Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Joe Harris. Chris Paul has Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, and Deandre Ayton. Trae Young has Kevin Huerter, John Collins, and Clint Capela, among others. Dejounte Murray has Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl. I think there’s a clear talent disparity here, and it makes it super impressive how he’s able to build up so many assists. The most assists Tony Parker ever averaged in a season was 7.7 in 2011-2012. Murray is currently averaging 9.1.

There’s much more I can go into, such as the fact that Murray currently leads the entire NBA in total steals with 91 and steals per game with 2.0, or that he’s becoming a much more confident scorer and 3-point shooter, but the future is extremely bright for this young man. Hopefully, the Spurs can collect some substantial talent around him, or else he may choose to soon take his talents elsewhere.

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