NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
NBA Predictions for Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) /

4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, Iowa

Exactly one lottery pick made the NBA playoffs this past season, and he did it as a starter: Keegan Murray. The Sacramento Kings were roundly panned on draft night for taking Murray over the “high-upside” of Jaden Ivey. A year later it’s still a hotly-contested debate, as Murray had an excellent rookie season.

Murray played in 80 games for the Kings as a rookie, starting 78 of them and averaging 12.2 points per game on 59.7 percent true shooting. He hit 41.1 percent of his 3-pointers, leading the rookie class and blowing away Donovan Mitchell’s rookie record with 206 threes. He played a key role in the Kings’ playoff series, not being played off the court despite facing the defending champions.

Comparing Murray to his compatriots, it doesn’t seem like he has superstar upside, but he is already a plus starter and could become a fringe All-Star player if his offensive game develops outside of the shooting, which is already top-notch. Jalen Williams, originally selected 12th, would leap him in a redraft, but I still have Murray ranked fifth in this class behind Williams, Banchero , Shaedon Sharpe and Holmgren.

Grade: A-