Iowa’s Keegan Murray is one of the most unexpected stars of this season. In his second year as a Hawkeye, Murray has improved exponentially from his freshman year, in which he averaged 7.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
Iowa already had a star In Luka Garza that year and the ball was always in his hands. Since Garza was drafted, someone needed to step into his role. Not only has Murray stepped into Garza’s role; he’s made it his own.
Keegan Murray today:— J r u e (@thatl0calguy) March 12, 2022
8-10 (!!!) 3FG
Top 10 draft pick.
Lock it in. pic.twitter.com/lXluUdxfrf
In his sophomore season, Murray is averaging 23.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. His 3-point percentage also increased from 29.6% to an impressive 40.6%. At 6-foot-8, 225 lbs, with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Murray has the size and length to do it all on both ends of the floor.
But that is in college. How does this translate to the NBA, and more specifically, to the Kings?
With his size and skillset, Murray would be playing SF/PF for the Kings. He is coincidentally the same height and weight as Harrison Barnes. Even their wingspan is the same. Therefore they are somewhat interchangeable. The obvious difference is age/athleticism, as well as his higher defensive ceiling.
A lineup many fans would probably like to see is:
PG - De’Aaron Fox
SG - Davion Mitchell
SF - Keegan Murray
PF - Harrison Barnes
C - Domantas Sabonis
It would be smart to have Murray at the three instead of the four due to his his athletic and defensive advantages over Barnes. Many of the league’s best scorers often play the three, like Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Jayson Tatum. Having Murray there to guard them once he has adjusted to the NBA’s style of play could greatly improve the King’s defense. Especially if Mitchell is there to shut down the opposing team’s best guard.
A good comparison for Murray is Otto Porter, but bigger. He can shoot, move well, and play efficient defense. Everything the Kings need.
Keegan Murray is a monster— Barstool Bench Mob (@stoolbenchmob) March 11, 2022
Right now the Kings are considered to land somewhere between 5-10 in the lottery. Murray is projected to go before 8 in almost all mock drafts. If he is on the board when the Kings are picking, it would be a very smart move to take him.