Measurable: 6-8, 215 pounds
2021-22 key stats: 23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 1.3 spg, 55.4 FG percentage, 39.8 three-point percentage
NBA.com consensus mock draft position: 5 (updated June 6, previously 6)
While making a huge leap in production since his 2020-21 freshman season at Iowa (he averaged a modest 7.2 points and made just four starts), forward Keegan Murray became the one of the best and most versatile offensive players in the NCAA. According USA today, Murray is the only recorded college player to record 60 dunks and 60 three-pointers in the same season, showing his ability to score in the paint and from beyond the arc. The national news outlet added of Murray “it’s easy to see why teams will line up to target someone with his potential impact. Because of his skills on both sides of the pitch, Murray projects himself as someone who can make an immediate impact in the pros. NBA.com agreed, describing Murray as a “good decision-maker with the intelligence and athleticism to become a dependable defender on the big men or on the wings. Has a consistent jump shot that should improve over time.
Based on mock drafts – and assuming there are no trades in the middle part of the lottery – Murray has an excellent chance of not having to move too far from his home state, Iowa. He is generally expected to be selected by two Central Division teams, either fifth at Detroit or sixth at Indiana. In NBA.com’s survey of 12 different simulations, 11 project Murray as either a Piston or a Pacer, with the only exception being SB Nation ranking him eighth in New Orleans.
Jerami Grant, Kyle Kuzma, Michael Porter Jr or Pascal Siakam?
Based on Twitter voting, these are all good options to compare with Murray, with each selection garnering at least 20% of the ballots (and that’s not even including a few “written” suggestions from Harrison Barnes and Shane Battier) . Kuzma took the lead in garnering 30% of the fan vote, an assessment that a scout from another NBA team corroborated.
Scout’s take: “A better shooter than Kyle, but like Kyle, Murray has a score-first mentality. Good maneuverability and ability to pass for his size. Projects as an average defender. He will have to use his IQ to have an impact for this purpose.
Other Big 10/Big 12 prospects
Nicolas Batum, Draymond Green, Aaron Gordon or Chuma Okeke?
Scout’s take: “Offensively his game is similar to Kyle Kuzma’s – the goalscoring potential is there, especially if his shooting develops. Showed flashes of being able to create his own blueprint. Defensively, he reminds me of Aaron Gordon. Has the potential to keep (positions) 1-4. He will be a good defender in this league.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Mo Harkless, Grant Williams or Kenrich Williams?
Scout’s opinion: “Obi Toppin is my mate for him. Explosive athlete who has a lot of potential at both ends of the pitch but is raw, especially offensively. Brown runs the hard floor and should be able to make an impact in transition.
Paul Millsap, Eric Paschall, Antoine Walker or PJ Washington?
Scout’s take: “Jae Crowder is my girlfriend. Its best quality is its tenacity. Undersized but has the ability to keep bigger guys due to his strength and toughness. Shot is coming, but his impact early in his career will be defensive.