Dejounte Murray has become darling of the Spurs, and to some extent, the NBA. While there have been some recent trade rumors, it seems unlikely that the Spurs would be willing to part with such a core player. In early February, we posted that the Spurs didn’t yet have an All-Star, but things have since changed. Murray did end up playing in an All-Star Game later that month. Could another honor be in his near-future? Fans are now wondering whether Murray could be voted to the All-Defensive First Team.
Why Dejounte Murray Could Be Voted to the All-Defensive First Team
Murray was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in 2017-2018. Despite his excellent performance last season, he did not make either All-Defensive Team in 2020-2021. So the big question is, “Will this be the year Murray receives enough votes?”
There are two things we need to assess to make a prediction: Murray’s performance and the patterns of the voters. Where these two overlap is with respect to his impressive average of 2.1 steals per game. At the moment, that places him ahead of all other NBA players for this stat. The panel for the All-Defensive First Team has a tendency to vote in players who had the top steals per game. In fact, that has been the case eight times in ten years. And if for whatever reason that is not enough, the panel should look at Murray’s 261 deflections for the season to date—another category where he beats all other players in the NBA.
Qualitatively, we also need to consider how Murray’s role on the Spurs has developed. He has taken on the mantle of leadership, and throughout the season, he has often carried the team. Both his technical skill and what it has made possible for the Spurs make him deserving of this honor.
What Might Prevent Murray from Receiving this Honor?
While it seems entirely logical for Murray to be included in this season’s All-Defensive First Team, there are no guarantees. That said, it is kind of hard to think of good arguments against it. We could say that he is not as well-rounded as he could be. He also struggles with screens sometimes. He also has a tendency to take risks that do not always pay off—but thankfully, this is where his teammates can help to balance things out.
Even with these weaknesses, Murray is worthy of the All-Defensive First Team. But whether or not the voters will agree is something that we will just have to wait to find out. Check back with us soon to follow more news about Dejounte Murray and the Spurs.