NBA

Sacramento Kings Select Keegan Murray With 4th Overall Pick In 2022 NBA Draft

Jun 23, 2022, 5:28 PM | Updated: 7:27 pm
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 23: NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) and Keegan Murray pose for photos af...
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 23: NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) and Keegan Murray pose for photos after Murray was drafted with the 4th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 23, 2022 in New York City. 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 the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

At long last, we have an answer to who the Sacramento Kings will select with the fourth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft:

The Kings have selected Iowa forward Keegan Murray with the fourth-overall selection in the draft.

2021-22 stats: 23.5 PTS, 8.7 REB, 1.5 AST, 1.3 STL, 1.9 BLK, 55% FG, 40% 3PT, 31.9 MIN

Murray, a standout All-American, has long been a player of interest in the Kings fanbase after the first-team All-American arguably had the best collegiate season out of any draft prospect.

The 6’8 forward will turn 22 this in August on the heels of a breakout sophomore season that saw him average 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game on 55 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Seeing that Kings All-Star center Domantas Sabonis is a pass-first big that can do damage in the paint and on the glass, Monte McNair’s squad could use a player like Murray that can create his offense on his own and knock down jumpers from mid-range to the perimeter, something that Marvin Bagley III and other power forwards that have come through Sacramento in recent years haven’t been able to do consistently.

Drafting Murray looks good on paper for the Kings. Murray is a lengthy (seven-foot wingspan) forward that possesses the ability to protect the rim (1.9 blocks per game), defend on-ball (1.3 steals per game), and knock down shots on the perimeter (40 percent from beyond the arc).

In 2021-22, Murray did a tremendous job of defending at a high level and posing as a near-elite perimeter threat. According to multiple scouting reports, Murray’s athleticism, size, and leadership have him tabbed as one of the more polished prospects in this draft.

Kings general manager Monte McNair’s decision to draft Murray over Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is one that will be viewed under a microscope for years to come, but it’s been clear for weeks that Sacramento has had eyes for Murray at fourth.

The move to draft Murray is one that appears as a ‘win now’ move. Sacramento is very shallow at the forward spots and is in desperate need of perimeter scoring and defense as well. Murray checks all of those boxes, something that McNair and the rest of the front office clearly took into account when making its decision.

It’s currently unknown which position Kings new head coach Mike Brown will utilize Murray in, as NBA Draft analysts are torn on whether the 21-year-old will be primarily used as a small forward or power forward.

McNair will need to decide on what to do with veteran forward Harrison Barnes, a player that has been linked to several trade rumors over the past week. If the Kings choose to move forward with a frontline of Barnes, Murray and Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento will hope to finally have some stability at the power forward position after years of uncertainty.

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