Dejounte Murray

NBA Announces 2017/18 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its 2017/18 All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with Defensive Player of the Year candidates Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis headlining the First Team.

Gobert led the way in voting, receiving 94 of 100 potential First Team votes. He also received four Second Team votes, and was left off of just two ballots, earning him 192 total points (two points per First Team vote; one point per Second Team vote). It’s his second All-Defensive First Team nod.

[RELATED: NBA Announces 2017/18 All-Rookie Teams]

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the All-Defensive recognition will pay off financially for Gobert, who earns a $500K bonus as a result of his spot on the First Team. Meanwhile, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday will receive a more modest $100K bonus for being named to the All-Defensive First Team.

Here are the full voting results for the All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with each player’s point total noted in parentheses:

First Team

  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz (192)
  • Anthony Davis, F/C, Pelicans (163)
  • Victor Oladipo, G, Pacers (136)
  • Jrue Holiday, G, Pelicans (105)
  • Robert Covington, F, Sixers (90)

Second Team

Rockets point guard Chris Paul (74 points) and Thunder forward Paul George (69) narrowly missed earning spots on the All-Defensive Second Team. A total of 29 other players received at least one vote, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson.

You can find the full voting results right here.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Hill, Evans, Murray

While the Pelicans have missed Solomon Hill on the court this season, there’s a silver lining to his lengthy injury absence, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes. Hill’s contract includes a bonus for playing more than 1,000 minutes this season, an incentive that had been considered “likely” because he achieved it last year.

However, he won’t reach that threshold this season, so his cap hit will be reduced by approximately $489K, and that money won’t count for luxury-tax purposes at season’s end. That will give New Orleans additional breathing room below the tax line in the event that the team wants to make more roster moves in the coming weeks. Hill’s cap hits in future seasons will also be reduced slightly, since that playing-time bonus will now be considered “unlikely” going forward.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • Pelicans star Anthony Davis almost certainly won’t win this season’s MVP award, but he deserves to be in the conversation, writes Rod Walker of The Advocate.
  • After undergoing an MRI for a rib injury on Sunday, Tyreke Evans has been ruled out of the Grizzlies‘ lineup for Monday’s game (Twitter links). According to Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com (Twitter link), the MRI showed slight cartilage damage, and Evans is considered day-to-day. “We’re not expecting it to be a long absence,” head coach J.B Bickerstaff said. “He’s had this injury before. So we expect to see him back soon.”
  • With Tony Parker averaging a career-low 20.6 minutes per game and Kawhi Leonard appearing in just nine contests this season, the Spurs have had to lean on other players, including Dejounte Murray. The second-year point guard has been a starter since January 21, averaging 26.2 minutes per game since then. Michael C. Wright of ESPN takes an in-depth look at Murray, exploring whether he has the potential to become one of the next great Spurs.

Tony Parker Cedes Starting Role To Dejounte Murray

The time has come for Spurs guard Tony Parker, as the 17-year vet has officially lost his starting role in San Antonio. Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News writes that Parker has ceded his spot in the first-unit to second-year point guard Dejounte Murray.

Gregg Popovich told me he thought it was time,” Parker said. “Just like Manu Ginobili, just like Pau Gasol, you know that day is going to come. If Pop sees something that is good for the team, I will try to do my best… I will support Pop’s decision.

Parker has started 1,151 regular season games over the course of his career, with career averages of 16.1 points and 5.8 assists per game. This year, in 21.7 minutes per game, he has posted averages of 8.0 points and 4.0 assists.

In 14 starts for the Spurs already this season, the 21-year-old Murray has averaged 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest.

Despite the lingering absence of star forward Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs have managed to stay competitive in the West. Even after having lost six of their last 10 games, San Antonio sits tied for third in the conference.

Spurs Notes: Parker, Murray, Simmons, Aldridge

Veteran point guard Tony Parker remains on assignment with the Austin Spurs in the G League for now, as he continues to rehab his quadriceps injury. However, he is inching closer to a return.

Addressing his recovery timeline today, Parker said he remains on track to get back in the Spurs’ lineup by late November, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). Parker added that he could play now, but he and the Spurs are being cautious and taking it slow.

Dejounte Murray‘s solid play at point guard to open the regular season gives the Spurs the flexibility to be even more cautious with Parker, since there’s no need to rush him back. Head coach Gregg Popovich indicated this week though that the play of Murray and the rest of San Antonio’s backcourt won’t have an impact on Parker’s return date, one way or the other.

“Tony will come back when he’s ready,” Popovich said, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “It’s got nothing to do with anybody else.”

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • With Murray playing well as the Spurs’ starting point guard, Parker was asked about the possibility of coming off the bench when he returns, as Young relays. Parker’s response? “Right now, I’m not even thinking about that. Right now, I just want to come back and play.”
  • He’s no longer a member of the Spurs, but Jonathon Simmons – who signed with the Magic in the summer – still raves about everything he learned during his two seasons in San Antonio. John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com has the details, with the quotes from Simmons.
  • After being the subject of trade rumors for much of the year, LaMarcus Aldridge unexpectedly reached an agreement on a contract extension with the Spurs earlier this month. Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post takes a closer look at how Aldridge and the Spurs mended their relationship, leading to the big man’s new deal.

Spurs Pick Up Option On Dejounte Murray

The Spurs have picked up Dejounte Murray‘s third-year (2018/19) option, the team announced in a press release Sunday. San Antonio faced an Oct. 31 deadline to pick up Murray’s option beyond 2017/18. Murray’s option will pay $1,544,951 next season.

Murray, 21, was the Spurs’ first-round pick (29th overall) last year. In 38 regular season games, Murray averaged 3.4 PPG, 1.3 APG and 1.1 RPG in 8.5 minutes per game. The University of Washington product also made 11 appearances in the postseason, where his playing time nearly doubled to 15.3 minutes as he posted  5.7 PPG, 2.5 APG and 2.5 RPG.

For all of this year’s decisions on 2018/19 rookie scale options, be sure to check out our tracker.

Dejounte Murray To Miss Additional 2-3 Weeks

Out of action since March 9, Spurs guard Dejounte Murray could actually miss two-to-three more weeks with a pelvic bone injury, Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. That leaves veterans Tony Parker and Patty Mills to man the point guard position for the bulk of the remaining season.

Although the San Antonio Express-News’ Melissa Rohlin adds that head coach Gregg Popovich was surprised at the severity of the issue, the franchise has elected to play it safe with the rookie guard as the postseason approaches. The decision to hold Murray out for the extended period of time comes after an MRI.

Murray has shown flashes of potential over the course of the season but has also spent 15 games in the D-League. Regardless of how exactly they’ll deploy the 20-year-old when he’s available, his presence as an option in the backcourt will serve Popovich well at the tail end of the season should the established recovery timeline hold up.

In 8.5 minutes per game for the Spurs, Murray has averaged 3.5 points.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/6/17

Here are Monday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers have recalled rookie guard Kay Felder from their D-League affiliate in Canton, the team announced today in a press release. With Deron Williams now in the mix in Cleveland, there isn’t much of a role available for Felder, who is coming off a 26-point, 10-assist performance for Canton on Sunday.
  • Rookie guard Malik Beasley has been recalled from the Sioux Falls Skyforce by the Nuggets, according to a press release issued by the team. Denver doesn’t have its own D-League squad yet, so Beasley has been playing for Miami’s affiliate. In his latest stint, he appeared in three games, averaging 16.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 2.7 APG.
  • Rookie forward Joel Bolomboy, who has been assigned and recalled 16 times this season, is back with the Jazz, the team announced today. Bolomboy posted yet another double-double for the Salt Lake City Stars on Sunday, with 17 points and 11 boards.
  • The Spurs recalled Davis Bertans and Dejounte Murray from the Austin Spurs, the team announced on its official website (link). Bertans and Murray each received over 30 minutes of court time in Austin’s match-up with the Salt Lake City Stars on Sunday.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/5/17

Here are the D-League transactions for Sunday:

  • The Mavericks recalled A.J. Hammons and Nicolas Brussino from the Texas Legends, the team announced in a press release. Brussino recorded a double-double last night for the Legends, whereas Hammons recorded 11 rebounds over 23 minutes.
  • The Kings recalled Georgios Papagiannis from the Reno Bighorns, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports (Twitter link). Papagiannis has appeared in six NBA games this season.
  • The Spurs assigned Davis Bertans and Dejounte Murray to the Austin Spurs, the team announced on its official website. Bertans and Murray will each be available for this afternoon’s match-up with the Salt Lake City Stars.
  • The Pelicans recalled Cheick Diallo from the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced in a press release.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/4/17

Here are Saturday’s D-League assignments and recalls:

  • The Celtics assigned power forward Jordan Mickey to their affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Mickey has appeared in 14 games with the Celtics but didn’t get any playing time in the last three games.
  • The Hawks recalled rookie forward Taurean Prince from the Long Island Nets, according to a press release from the D-League team. Prince played for the Nets’ affiliate on Friday under the flexible assignment rule and tallied 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes at Greensboro. He’s played five games for the Nets’ D-League club and 29 games for the Hawks, averaging 3.4 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 10.1 MPG.
  • The Kings recalled center Georgios Papagiannis from their affiliate in Reno, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets. The 7’2” center is averaging 12.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 2.3 BPG in 18 D-League games.
  • The Spurs recalled guards Bryn Forbes and Dejounte Murray from their affiliate in Austin, according to a team press release. The duo was sent down to get some game action. Forbes had 20 points and seven rebounds against Rio Grande on Friday night, while Murray racked up 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
  • The Bulls recalled rookie guard Denzel Valentine from the Windy City Bulls, according to a team release. Valentine averaged 30.5 PPG, 12.0 RPG and 7.0 APG in two games with Windy City.

Southwest Notes: Gasol, Ajinca, D’Antoni

The Spurs are once again the No. 2 team in the Western Conference and a given to qualify for and contend in the playoffs. A recent hand injury to Pau Gasol, however, could change that. Ben Alamar of ESPN has explored the impact that Gasol’s absence will have in San Antonio, citing the big man’s staggering efficiency from mid-range as one of the biggest voids that the club will have to fill.

On the other side of the ball, Gasol has long-established himself as a heady defender capable of providing paint protection. This will now fall to reserves Dewyane Dedmon and David Lee. Though Dedmon and Lee have been respectable back ups this season, Alamar isn’t sure they’ll have the same impact as Gasol has with his ability to block shots and limit his fouls.

Gasol, Alamar writes, is second on the Spurs in defensive win shares behind only Kawhi Leonard.

The veteran was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the hand fracture on Friday. No recovery timetable has yet been announced.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Though not shy about expressing his frustration with a lack of playing time, Alexis Ajinca has reportedly not requested a trade from the Pelicans, tweets Justin Verrier of ESPN. Ajinca has racked up 11 DNP-CDs since his last legitimate taste of action on December 23 and has played just three minutes total in January.
  • Offseason addition Mike D’Antoni has made a serious case for Coach of the Year, writes Chris Mannix of The Vertical. His decision to move James Harden to the point has been one of the highlights of his brief tenure. “I watched a lot of tape of him,” D’Antoni told Mannix. “His skills are enormous. Point guard made sense. He was that anyway. We just cut the fat off. The way he plays now, he’s making an impact every minute. So we can play him less minutes. And he’s fresher.”
  • The 2016/17 campaign won’t go down in history for the Mavs, at least not in a good way. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas News has come up with a list of things that have officially gone wrong, chief among them significant injuries to Dirk Nowitzki, Andrew Bogut, Devin Harris, Deron Williams and J.J. Barea (again).
  • For the first time this season, the Spurs featured Dejounte Murray prominently in their rotation and the rookie guard responded with a career-high, 24-point showing. “I felt like I had a rhythm the whole game,” Murray told Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News. “I was confident even before he Gregg Popovich told me I was starting. I always stay ready. … My teammates, when they heard I was starting, they cheered me up tried to keep my confidence high.”