NBA Rumors: Some Scouts Felt Kings' Keegan Murray Was No. 2 Player in 2022 NBA Draft

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 12, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 5: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball during the 2022 California Classic on July 5, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings surprised many fans when they drafted Keegan Murray at No. 4 overall, but multiples scouts believe the team got a steal.

"I've had some scouts tell me they thought he was the No. 2 player in the draft," Marc J. Spears said of Murray on The Hoop Collective podcast (13:20 in video).

Brian Windhorst added that while the Kings received offers to trade the fourth overall pick, they preferred to draft Murray.

Murray has been one of the early stars during summer league, averaging 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in three games in California and scoring 43 across two games so far in Las Vegas.

The 6'8" forward has showcased impressive offensive versatility that could make him the most advanced player in the class.


Keegan Murray dropped 23 points to give the Kings the W 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/brhoops?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@brhoops</a> <a href="https://t.co/iofQS0f2tX">pic.twitter.com/iofQS0f2tX</a>

It comes after a breakout sophomore season at Iowa in which Murray averaged 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

He only averaged 7.2 points per contest as a freshman in 2020-21.

Despite Murray's production, few publicly listed him at the top of the 2022 draft class. Most scouts seemingly had a clear top three of Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr., even if there was disagreement about the order.

Jaden Ivey was also a heavy favorite to be the fourth player taken.

While none of them has played an official NBA game, Murray has already shown the type of upside to be the best player in the class.