He Already is a Key Defensive Piece
Few players have finished on the All-Defensive Team during their second year playing in the NBA. But that is what Murray achieved last year. Technically, Embiid also managed the feat last season, but he was actually drafted in 2014. Only two other players in the history of the NBA have managed to be one of the 10 best defenders in the league during their second year, and Murray is the youngest player to ever receive the honor.
Defensive stats are never to be wholly trusted, but when Murray was on the floor last season, the Spurs’ opponents averaged 7.6 fewer points, an extra turnover, two fewer rebounds and one fewer assist per game.
He is 6’5″ but has a 6’8″ wingspan. Murray’s speed on offense translates to quick feet on the other end of the floor, and when he was picked 29th by the Spurs in 2016, Draft Express said that he has “excellent” instincts defensively, which helped him secure 1.2 steals in 21.5 minutes last season.
The article also said he lacked effort on defense but that hasn’t been the case since he’s got to the NBA, and Murray has earned the respect of players around the league.
In fact, he has shown some impressive displays against some of the league’s elite talents, like Russell Westbrook for example.
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