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NBA Draft 2016 Scouting Profile: Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray is multi-talented shooter with a lightning-quick release who fits a good number of the Kings needs. Is there any shot the team could snag him at #8?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Murray

NBA Position: SG

General Information: 19 year old freshman, played at Kentucky. From Kitchner, Ontario, Canada.

Measurables: 6'4.25", 207 pounds, 6'6.5" wingspan, 8'1" standing reach

2014-15 Season Statistics: 20.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.3 TOPG (35.2 minutes per contest) -€” 45.5% FG, 78.3% FT, 40.8% 3P, 62.1% TSP


Jamal Murray is multi-talented shooter with a lightning-quick release; over half of his shots were three pointers, and he knocked down 40.8% of them while also showing some decent skills on the drive and a willingness to be the secondary ball-handler and play-maker. He's an inconsistent defender, but his competitive approach, sweet shooting stroke and solid decision making will make his transition into the NBA easier than most shooters.

Offensive Breakdown:

Murray's greatest strength is his outside shooting. On the biggest stage in college basketball, Murray consistently provided Kentucky with a big-time shot maker; 3.1 three pointers per game on 40.8% shooting. Over half his shot attempts on the season were from distance (he took 7.7 threes a game), and his offense stayed exceptionally consistent throughout the year. He's got a very quick, smooth rhythm in his shooting, moved well without the ball to create openings, and showed an ability to hit in transition and on the catch-and-shoot.

While Murray's biggest strength is his shooting, he's underappreciated for the versatility he provides an offense. Point guard Tyler Ulis' fantastic season somewhat covers up the fact that Jamal proved a very capable second ballhandler for the Wildcasts—he finished with a 12.1% assist rate, and while his turnovers were a bit higher than that, his ball-control was impressive for his usage (27.1%). He won't be an NBA point guard, but in a league that values versatility more than ever, Murray offers passing skills that other prospects lack.

While he's not the quickest nor the most explosive player, Murray's athleticism is overlooked (at the combine he posted a max vertical of 39' -€” also, check out this dunk). He's a decent slasher and was a good threat on the pick-and-roll, with a decent collection of moves. This will work less at the NBA level, but he'll be a threat in transition and on the attack.

Defensive Breakdown:

Murray's inconsistencies on defense are his biggest knock, but he's shown more effort than he is credited for. He won't have to be hidden on an NBA defense, and with proper coaching this won't be a major long-term problem. He will be position-locked to guarding other twos, as he lack of height and quickness will keep him from guarding a majority of NBA points and forwards. He doesn't have the length nor the quick first step to become a lock-down defender, but he's a smart, aware player who got better as the year went on.


Murray doesn't offer Buddy Hield's insane numbers (and hype), Jaylen Brown's physical gifts, or the star power of Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, but he belongs near the top of this draft. He consistently produced in one of the game's biggest stages at Kentucky; Murray's shooting only dropped below 40% 11 times in his 36 game schedule, and only two of them were in Kentucky's last 15 contests. He offers a resume of consistent production that is one of the best in the class.

Murray doesn't have the sheer fire that Buddy Hield does, but he's an exceptionally confident player who didn't lose his edge. Considering his improvement over the year, and his reputation as a hard worker and smart basketball mind, and it's hard for me to see him not becoming one of the top ten shooting guards in a year or two.

He also uses Wesley Matthew's bow-and-arrow celebration after a three pointer, which is the coolest damn celebration in the sport and no one will convince me otherwise.

Fit with Sacramento:

The Kings five biggest needs are consistent shooting, defense, stability at the two-guard, basketball smarts, and consistent shooting. Murray meets every requirement, with a hedge on defense. He doesn't offer the best versatility on defense, but it isn't a weakness that Dave Joerger can't improve on. The chance to add someone with Murray's versatility and shooting potential would be a big boon to the Kings ‘new era'.

Murray would be an excellent fit with Sacramento, but I think the Kings have a better shot of Kris Dunn or Buddy Hield fall to the Kings (Dunn because the top lottery teams have young PGs in place, and Hield because of a perceived ‘lack of potential'). Still, Murray would be an exciting addition to the Kings, who, at that point, should just rename themselves ‘the Sacramento Kentucky Wildcats.'

As always, check out the DraftExpress breakdowns;