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Dynasty Battle – Tyus Jones vs. Dejounte Murray

Tom will be battling in favor of Tyus Jones and Alex in favor of Dejounte Murray.

Round 1:

I thought you were going to pick a player that would be harder for me to argue against. Dejounte Murray? The tall “point guard” with an 18 percent assist rate?

My man Tyus Jones has a 39.2% assist rate! 3-9 point 2, bro. That would be higher than CP3’s career high of 38% in 2010-2011.

Tom 1. Alex 0.

-TT

Two words, my dude. Gregg Popovich. If you don’t see the potential in Murray – a 6-5 point guard with a 6-10 wingspan – you’re crazy. Who is better at maximizing potential and talent than Popovich? I’ll remind you that Danny Green rode the bench for the 2009-10 Cavs, then rained 27 treys in the 2013 Finals. And here’s what nbadraft.net said about Kawhi Leonard: “Does not have one aspect offensively that stands out or which allows him to consistently score the ball…He does not have break down ability off the dribble…His jumpshot is still very inconsistent.” This is the same Kawhi averaging 25.5 points on 48% from the field and 40% from deep. The guys at nbadraft.net weren’t entirely off, Pop is just that good (also shouts to Chip Engelland). He obviously doesn’t deserve complete credit for those rises, but to dismiss his impact would be foolish.

Point being: The Spurs make players better. Like significantly better.

I agree with you, Murray needs to improve as a passer. That assist rate is alarming. But pretty sure “passing” is Popovich’s middle name. I’m not concerned. My guy will get there with the right tutelage.

Alex 1,000,000. Tom 0.

-AS

Round 2:

I landed a cross to the face and your best counter was to tell me how good the guy holding the clipboard on the sidelines is? Respect to Pop – he’s the greatest, coolest coach of our generation. Kawhi Leonard is another Spurs scouting success story, though. Regardless, let’s not act like Murray is anywhere near the prospect Leonard was. ESPN ranked Leonard as the 7th best prospect in 2011 and James Brocato ranked him 2nd.

I like Murray’s opportunity in San Antonio, but while Leonard had promising stats coming out of college (including his athletic indicators like rebounding, blocks and steals), he is purely a “tools” guy whose production underwhelmed in college. As a result, 538’s Carmelo forecast lacks a single starting point guard among his closest 10 comps and Kevin Pelton ranked him as the draft’s 58th best prospect by stats-only.

Meanwhile, Tyus Jones’ Caremlo Forecast (while similarly discouraging overall), includes comps like Jrue Holiday and Tony Parker. Jones was 4th in the 2015 draft by Pelton’s stats-only model. We’re seeing him convert promise into production – he’s shooting over 40% from three and he’s averaging a Chris Paulean two plus steals per 36 minutes. We already discussed the dime dropping ability, so the only thing lacking is the opportunity to start in Minnesota.

-TT

“The only thing lacking is the opportunity to start in Minnesota.” I’d argue that’s a way bigger red flag than you make it out to be. Opportunity is everything in dynasty fantasy.

Here’s my insight: You can’t make plays unless you’re in the game, and I can’t win my match-up unless my guys make plays.

The door has been slightly cracked for Tyus this season, due to Zach LaVine’s devastating injury; but he is still listed as the third point guard on the depth chart behind two young bloods in Ricky Rubio (26 years old) and Kris Dunn (22). Even if the Wolves decide to move on from Ricky, the plan is to hand the keys over to Dunn, whom they selected 5th overall in the 2016 Draft. Not to Tyus.

“Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what Dejounte Murray has in San Antonio.” Fairly certain that’s the direct quote from Miracle.

Murray is slated as third on the depth chart as well – behind Tony Parker and Patty Mills – but the situation is far different. I love TP but the man is 34 years old. The tank is on low and the Spurs need some gas. Patty Mills is exciting, but he’s more of a spark plug off the bench than a starter. You know the type – comes in when the top-5 are lifeless, plays scrappy, brings up the energy, knocks down some threes, etc.  

The path is paved for Murray. When Parker missed four straight games at the end of January, guess who stepped in as the starter and played an average of 25.3 minutes per.

Oh, and they won all four contests, including one over Cleveland and one over Toronto.

-AS

Round 3:

“Finish him.”

The opportunity could be better, but even with Rubio healthy, Jones has managed 27 and 31 minutes the last two contests as of this writing. Meanwhile, my biggest whiff of the year was Kris Dunn, who has a lot to prove right now. It’s not like he’s completely buried on the bench.

Here’s the kill shot – if I give Jones his actual per 36 minute rate stats on BasketballMonster.com and then edit his playing time to give him 30 minutes per game, he’s a top 40 player already at 20 years old! For dynasty I want the best, most talented players, so give me the guy who is good over the guy who looks to have a lighter depth chart ahead of him.

Game, set, Jones. Go buy him, you’ll thank me later.

-TT

You’re sleeping on how good Murray is. This isn’t just about a lighter depth chart.

Even if Murray never turns into a big-time dime dropper, he has proven that he can produce in so many different ways. His per-36 stats: 16.8 points, 4.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds, shooting 44% from the field and 42% from three. Concerns about his percentages were valid coming in, but it seems the aforementioned Spurs’ shooting coach Chip Engelland is working his magic, and naturally Murray gets better looks when attention is on guys like Aldridge and Leonard. The turnovers need to decrease, but remember he’s a 20-year-old rookie.

What really intrigues me about Murray is his fantasy versatility. Due to his size and length, he has the ability to impact more categories than Jones. He’ll get you buckets. He’ll get you rebounds (averaged 6 at Washington, should see that 4.1 NBA average increase). He’ll get you assists. He’ll get you steals (averaged 1.8 at Washington and had a defensive box plus-minus of 2.5). He’ll probably even get you some blocks (had 2 in 8 minutes against Toronto on January 3rd).

I’m sorry to inform you, but you just don’t get all that with Tyus.

I’m not just riding with Dejounte because of the better opportunity. He can ball.

-AS

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Comments by Tom Trudeau @TomTrudeau and Alex Squadron @asquad510

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Tom Trudeau

Tom Trudeau

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