Great news Sacramento Kings fans: It’s looking very likely that Keegan Murray will make his league debut on Saturday, Oct. 22 vs the Los Angeles Clippers and being out for the season opener against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Big news: Keegan Murray was a full participant in Sacramento Kings practice on Friday. He’s in line to make his NBA debut on Saturday vs the Clippers.— Cameron Salerno (@cameronsalerno1) October 21, 2022
Murray had been away from the team for several days after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Though he had initially been excused for what was thought to be a non-covid related illness, we now know this to be untrue. Murray recently spoke with the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson about his time away from the team.
“I had symptoms,” Murray said. “There’s stuff that kind of hit me a little bit, but I’m 100% now. I feel really good, so it’s just something that took me a couple of days to get over the hurdle.”
The Kings are no stranger to players entering the health and safety protocol due to contracting COVID-19. Last season, there was an outbreak in the team's facility that left the team extremely short-handed roster for some time. Thankfully, nobody else caught it this time around, and Murray is doing just fine.
Murray is a young, healthy guy so there likely wasn’t too much stress about his ability to recover. His real stress probably came due to his absence from his team at such an important time. Nobody wants to miss the season opener, especially at home.
However, Murray cleared the health and safety protocols on Thursday morning and has been a participant in practice since that afternoon. Coach Mike Brown said that Murray even stayed after practice to get both some 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills in with some of the coaching staff. After being out for a few days Murray’s body definitely felt fatigued and a little sluggish so extra work was likely needed.
Keegan’s status is still TBD, but he’s doing everything he can to make his NBA regular season debut this Saturday pic.twitter.com/XFoWeHxOLe— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 20, 2022
Oddly enough, there is a small silver lining to Murray missing the game.
Unfortunately for the Kings, they were unable to secure a win to start the year off 1-0. Some players like Domantas Sabonis and Harrison Barnes didn’t have the best outing, which led to the team losing a close one. Enter Murray. There were endless reactions and social media posts of fans confidently exclaiming how the Kings would have won if Murray had played.
By missing being absent for a game that should have absolutely been a win for Sacramento, Murray is in a position to further the narrative of being the savior this franchise needed. If he makes his debut against the contending Clippers and the Kings are able to walk away with a win — even with L.A. sitting John Wall and Kawhi Leonard — the Keegan Murray bandwagon will officially take off.