Kings nab Iowa’s versatile Keegan Murray with 4th pick

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings selected Iowa forward Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft.

A first-team All-American as a sophomore, Murray was the Big Ten’s leading scorer at 23.5 points a game and averaged 8.7 rebounds while playing alongside twin brother Kris.

Murrray called it a dream come true.

“Three years (ago) I was an unranked recruit going to Iowa and I’ll never forget that feeling,” Murray said....

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings selected Iowa forward Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft.

A first-team All-American as a sophomore, Murray was the Big Ten’s leading scorer at 23.5 points a game and averaged 8.7 rebounds while playing alongside twin brother Kris.

Murrray called it a dream come true.

“Three years (ago) I was an unranked recruit going to Iowa and I’ll never forget that feeling,” Murray said. “I always have that chip on my shoulder no matter what. I know that greatness takes time and I know that I have a long ways to go in my development as a basketball player, so for me it’s being able to be the best version of myself when I get down there and see what happens.”

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Murray gives Kings first-year coach Mike Brown a versatile wing player to complement a core group anchored by point guard De’Aaron Fox and 6-foot-11 power forward Domantas Sabonis.

Murray’s value vaulted after a stellar sophomore season at Iowa. He improved his scoring more than 16 points from his freshman year and made 66 3-pointers — 50 more than he had the previous season with the Hawkeyes.

The Kings have not made the playoffs in an NBA-record 16 consecutive seasons.

Brown, who has been a part of four NBA championship teams including most recently with the Golden State Warriors, was hired in hopes of bringing stability to a franchise that last made the playoffs in 2005-06.

Adding Murray, the highest draft pick in Hawkeyes history, should go a long way toward helping Brown get off to a good start with his new team, one that looks decidedly different than the one that began the season a year ago.

The Kings fired head coach Luke Walton and opted not to retain interim coach Alvin Gentry. Mid-season trades of 2018 second overall pick Marvin Bagley III and 2020 first-rounder Tyrese Haliburton shook up the roster, with Sabonis joining Sacramento as part of the Haliburton deal.

Murray’s ability to score to score inside and stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting gives the Kings multiple options how to use their rookie. Murray showed that flexibility last year at Iowa when he was fourth nationally in scoring average while making 40 % of his 3-point attempts and grabbing 300 rebounds.

They’re getting a winner first and foremost,” Murray said. “I’m very versatile. I hit a late growth spurt so I have a lot more room to grow in my game and I’m excited to get to that.”

Sacramento also holds the 37th overall pick.

Hours before the draft the Kings dealt the No. 49 selection to the Cavaliers in exchange for the rights to forward Sasha Vezenkov and $1.75 million. Vezenkov was acquired in 2021 from Brooklyn as part of the three-team trade that brought All-Star center Jarrett Allen to Cleveland. The Nets drafted Vezenkov with the 57th pick in 2017.

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