Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the entire 2018-19 season due to an ACL tear, Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray began the 2019-20 campaign on a minutes restriction and then was removed from the starting lineup. However, head coach Gregg Popovich didn’t necessarily view that move as a demotion — the team believed that removing the responsibilities of running the first-team offense might allow Murray to play a “freer, more instinctual game,” writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News.

While Murray’s play for the second unit has been up and down, he had one of his best games of the season last Friday in a Spurs win over Sacramento, with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals in 32 minutes. That last number may be the most important of the bunch, as it suggests Murray’s minutes restriction is no longer in effect. With no more nightly cap on his playing time, Murray is eager to show what he can do.

“I know it takes time,” the Spurs guard said. “There was the minute restriction, a lot of stuff going on. It is what it is. I’m going to bust my tail, continue to work, continue to learn. I’m just ready to be unleashed.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • After being held out of Monday’s game, Josh Jackson again won’t play for the Memphis Hustle on Wednesday, the Grizzlies announced (via Twitter). Jackson, who reportedly missed a team meeting, has essentially received a two-game suspension for violating team rules.
  • What sort of trade options might the Grizzlies have for Andre Iguodala? Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian takes a deep dive and explores several hypothetical scenarios, labeling the Mavericks as Memphis’ most logical trade partner and the Nuggets and Raptors as possible wild cards.
  • Lonzo Ball was one of the key pieces acquired by the Pelicans in their blockbuster trade with the Lakers over the summer, and New Orleans is doing all it can to get the most out of the former No. 2 overall pick. Andrew Lopez of ESPN.com takes a closer look at how the Pelicans have worked on rebuilding Ball’s jump shot.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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Can you name every first round draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs since 1987?
1987 - 1
David Robinson
1987 - 23
Greg Anderson
1988 - 10
Willie Anderson
1989 - 3
Sean Elliott
1990 - 24
Dwayne Schintzius
1992 - 18
Tracy Murray
1994 - 22
Bill Curley
1995 - 29
Cory Alexander
1997 - 1
Tim Duncan
1998 - 24
Felipe Lopez
2001 - 28
Tony Parker
2002 - 26
John Salmons
2003 - 28
Leandro Barbosa
2004 - 28
Beno Udrih
2005 - 28
Ian Mahinmi
2007 - 28
Tiago Splitter
2008 - 26
George Hill
2010 - 20
James Anderson
2011 - 29
Cory Joseph
2013 - 28
Livio Jean-Charles
2014 - 30
Kyle Anderson
2015 - 26
Nikola Milutinov
2016 - 29
Dejounte Murray
2017 - 29
Derrick White
2018 - 18
Lonnie Walker
2019 - 19
Luka Samanic
2019 - 29
Keldon Johnson

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