NBA Prospect Profile: Dejounte Murray



Dejounte Murray is a 6’5” 170 pound point guard from the University of Washington.  Showing a lot of talent during his freshman year, Murray has pushed him up draft boards as high to Milwaukee at ten.  He has the tools to develop into a very interesting NBA point guard, but also struggled with decision making during his stay at Washington, leading to concerns whether he can run an NBA offense.  Dejounte grew up in Seattle, Washington playing for Rainier Beach High School.


Along with fellow Huskie Marquese Chriss, Murray is hiking up draft boards late in the draft process despite having an up and down freshman year.  Dejounte is a cocky prospect with a lot of talent, and although his cockiness leads to some really fun basketball, it also creates a lot of short sighted turnovers and shot attempts.  He forced a lot during his freshman season, but playing alongside another talent like Chriss helps Murray come into the NBA having already played with equal talent.  The Kentucky players always come into the NBA understanding how they fit in with their new team, they play alongside NBA talent and figure out where they fit in the world, hopefully Murray is further down the line than the average prospect in that regard.


-Confidence: Dejounte has the confidence in himself to play at an elite level.  He’s almost too confident out there, which is one of the easiest things to route for in sports, the irrationally confident basketball player.  You sure can shut down Lebron 2009 New York Knicks JR Smith!  Irrationally confident people just make the world more fun.

-Floater: His most dangerous offense weapon.  Murray is great at throwing up an awkward floater when the defender starts moving back to guard a drive to the rim.  He times it perfectly to get an open look in traffic.

-Defensive Potential: One of the big calling cards for his rise up the draft boards, is the hope that he can become a lock down defensive player able to guard either backcourt position.  Dejounte has a 6’10” wingspan, which is hard to find in a point guard.  With long arms and confidence in his abilities, he has the potential to get his hands on a lot of passes throughout his career.

-Rebounding: He fights hard for rebounds on both ends of the floor.  I love that he’s not afraid to box out the opposing team’s center.  I think his irrational confidence helps him here as well, he flies into the lane for rebounds most point guards don’t dare attempt for fear of the other team running the fast break.


-Handle: Murray has a ton of moves to get past his defender, but as of right now his handle leads to as many mistakes as fruitful endeavors.  He got away with some shaky moves that I believe will become turnovers his rookie season.

-Shooting: Murray’s shot doesn’t isn’t too ugly, it doesn’t look smooth, but the mechanics are close.  He’s a classic case where you think he might be able to improve his shooting, but two years from now all hope could be lost.  Dejounte shot 28% from the college three point line last season.

-Decision making: Many a times Dejounte would be running a 2 on 1 fast break and the defender was able to read that he was going to pass and pick off the pass.  There were also occurrences of attempted bounce passes through three defenders, which as you can expect, being this is the weaknesses section, did not work out for the freshman.

-Motor: While playing defense, Murray plays somewhere in between a Jimmer Fredette rest, and the average effort for a defensive player.  He almost plays good defense a lot, but just doesn’t put the effort into staying in good position to keep his match up out of the lane.

Rookie Year for Milwaukee:

Should John Hammond use the tenth pick of the draft on Dejounte Murray, the fan base can expect a dynamic young guard to lead the second unit.  I don’t think he is a good enough shooter to play off Giannis, but he could keep the pace up for our second unit, hopefully leading to the bench regaining some of their offensive oomph.  With his size, Murray is a match up problem for most second units in the league.

If he doesn’t slow down a little bit on offense, he’s going to be turning the ball over at a high rate pretty much nightly, making it hard to play him at times.  He has a lot of potential, but his rookie year could be messy.  If we’re trying to make the playoffs, there is a good chance Murray’s minutes keep decreasing towards playoff time.  He has a lot of talent, but with his erratic play, it’s hard to imagine he’s ready to help any team win his rookie season.  I don’t want him to completely lose his erratic play either, I think if he has a couple years to improve some weaknesses, the way he plays will become very dangerous, as he can push the ball up the floor and use his length to make passes other guys wouldn’t dare make.

Future for Milwaukee:

If we draft him, it’s all about his future.  In the present he seems like an unlikely contributor to a good team, but in three years, he has the talent to be leading a team to the playoffs.  He could be taught how to shoot and play off ball, making our line-up very dynamic, or he could end up trying to play like Rajon Rondo, going to the hole and making plays for his teammates, going for as many rebounds as he can get, and causing a stir on the defensive end with his quick hands.

I think Murray is best suited to try to play like Rajon Rondo, with a little added shooting touch.  That’s not what the Bucks really need, but that’s probably the way he’s going to develop as a player.  The Bucks do have enough versatility to make things work, but he’s not really the ideal point guard.  We’d have to take Giannis off the ball, and hope he improved his shooting enough to become just as dangerous playing off ball.  I like Murray a lot as a prospect, but ideally not in Milwaukee.


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