Keegan Murray

Pacers Rumors: Power Forward, Duarte, Collins, Turner, Bitadze

The growing sense among rival teams is that the 23-19 Pacers could be a buyer, rather than a seller, at this season’s trade deadline, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Fischer acknowledges that Indiana’s trade deadline outlook could certainly be altered if Tyrese Haliburton‘s foot injury causes him to miss an extended period. Fischer also adds a caveat to the team’s potential status as a buyer — the Pacers won’t be in the market for short-term veterans like Jae Crowder or Bojan Bogdanovic, but will have an eye out for players who could be long-term fits.

According to Fischer, power forward is the spot the Pacers would most like to upgrade. Indiana was high on Keegan Murray prior to the 2022 draft, and while the club was happy to ultimately land Bennedict Mathurin at No. 6, missing out on Murray means the power forward position remains a priority going forward.

If they want to get aggressive, the Pacers will have a couple extra 2023 first-round picks to dangle in trade talks, having acquired Cleveland’s and Boston’s first-rounders. Additionally, while Indiana viewed Chris Duarte as off limits at one point, multiple front office sources tell Fischer that the team has been more willing to discuss him in recent talks.

Here’s more on the Pacers’ plans:

  • Indiana has had internal discussions about the possibility of pursuing Hawks power forward John Collins, according to Fischer, who notes that Duarte and draft capital might appeal to Atlanta. The Hawks previously pitched the idea of trading Collins to the Pelicans for Trey Murphy and a first-round pick, Fischer explains. The fact that the Pacers could absorb Collins into their cap room without sending out matching salary could also intrigue the Hawks, who are right around the luxury tax line.
  • The Pacers and Myles Turner‘s representatives at CAA continue to discuss a possible renegotiation-and-extension for the veteran center, sources tell Yahoo Sports. Fischer suggests that the four-year, $133MM offer sheet Indiana gave Deandre Ayton in July would be an “obvious benchmark” for Turner’s side to use in contract negotiations.
  • Trade rumors involving Turner have slowed down as of late, Fischer observes. Teams like the Hornets, Pelicans, Mavericks, and Lakers have been viewed as potential suitors in the past, but don’t appear to be targeting Turner at this point. If the 26-year-old ends up back on the trade block, the Knicks, Raptors, and Clippers could be fits, Fischer writes.
  • The most likely Pacers center to be traded is Goga Bitadze, according to Fischer, who hears from sources that the club would be willing to work with Bitadze’s representatives to find him a new team. Daniel Theis is due back from injury soon and Bitadze hasn’t had much of a role even with Theis out. The fourth-year center also hasn’t been interested in accepting an assignment to the Pacers’ G League team in Fort Wayne, says Fischer.

Paolo Banchero, Keegan Murray Named Rookies Of The Month

Magic forward Paolo Banchero and Kings forward Keegan Murray have been named the NBA’s Rookies of the Month for January, the league announced today (via Twitter).

It’s the first time either player has won the award. Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin and Thunder guard Jalen Williams were the winners for October/November.

The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Banchero averaged 19.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game in 15 December appearances (33.5 MPG) for the Magic, who enjoyed a rare winning month. Orlando’s 8-7 record in December was its best mark in a month since the team went 4-1 in Dec. 2020, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).

Murray’s Kings, meanwhile, went 8-6 in December as the rookie forward started all 14 of the team’s games. This year’s No. 4 overall pick, Murray averaged 12.7 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 28.6 MPG and made an impressive 46.4% of his three-point attempts (2.8 makes per game).

Mathurin and Williams were among the nominees for this month’s award. Hawks wing AJ Griffin, Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, and Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard were the other nominees in the Eastern Conference, while Jazz big man Walker Kessler, Rockets forward Jabari Smith, and Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan were nominated in the West (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Murray, Powell, George, Lakers

Rookie forward Keegan Murray has already won a spot in the Kings‘ starting lineup, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Coach Mike Brown made the announcement after today’s practice that Murray will replace KZ Okpala for Thursday’s game against the Grizzlies.

Murray, the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, has made a strong impression early in his NBA career. He’s averaging 17.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in his first two games while shooting 54.2% from the field and 43.8% from three-point range. The new starting unit of Murray, De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes and Domantas Sabonis has only played 11 minutes together, but it has a plus/minus rating of plus-55.3.

“I think it helps us tremendously,” Fox said. “When he gets on the floor, you feel the spacing increase. When you have somebody like Draymond (Green) not trying to help off of you, that’s the ultimate respect, so I think everybody in the league pretty much knows what he can do, and he can help us, not only with shooting, but just with his entire package.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers swingman Norman Powell isn’t panicking about seeing so many of his shots misfire, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Powell has gotten off to an unusually slow start, ranking second-worst in the league in effective field goal percentage and drawing shooting fouls about half as often as he did last season. “I think I’ve just got to relax a little bit and kind of let the game come to me and make the plays that are in front of me, not just for myself but for the team,” Powell said. “I’ll go back, continue to watch film, continue to find ways where I can be better not just scoring the ball but offensively, defensively, moving the ball, playing for others and continue just to grind.”
  • Paul George insists that Kawhi Leonard is the team’s primary scoring option, but Law Murray of The Athletic believes George may have to accept that role for the Clippers to be successful. With Leonard working his way back from surgery for a partially torn ACL, there are going to be many nights when George has to carry the scoring load.
  • The Lakers are already at a critical point in their season and need to make a move with Russell Westbrook, argues Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Mannix recommends calling the Pacers and completing the rumored deal that would send Westbrook and unprotected first-rounders in 2027 and 2029 to Indiana in exchange for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield.

Pacific Notes: Murray, Wall, Westbrook, Crowder

Kings head coach Mike Brown has indicated that 6’8″ rookie forward Keegan Murray, the No. 4 pick out of Iowa, could be moved into the team’s starting lineup soon, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

 “Yeah, he started the second half [of the team’s Sunday loss against the Warriors], so there’s a chance he could start going forward,” Brown said.

The 0-3 Kings will next have the opportunity to start Murray against the 2-1 Grizzlies on Thursday. As Anderson writes, current starting power forward KZ Okpala seems most likely to be moved to the bench in such a scenario.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers reserve guard John Wall is hoping for a larger role with Los Angeles, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. The 6’4″ vet has been limited by his team to 25 or fewer minutes a night as a backup. Across 23 MPG in two contests thus far, Wall is averaging 16 PPG on .519/.250/.250 shooting splits, plus 3.5 APG, 2.0 RPG and 1.0 SPG. “There’s no recovery process for me,” Wall said. “It’s just a program, a plan [the Clippers have] for me… I was fully healthy last year; I just didn’t play because of the situation [with the Rockets]. So, I’m not on like on a recovery process.”
  • The 0-3 Lakers are struggling to start the season, and still seem to be considering offloading the expiring $47.1MM contract of current starting point guard Russell Westbrook. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report identifies six potential outcomes for the team’s future with Westbrook, including standing pat and not executing a trade.
  • Estranged Suns power forward Jae Crowder remains in limbo as both he and Phoenix hope to work out a deal to send Crowder away from the Suns for a hopefully larger role elsewhere, per Chris Haynes of Turner Sports (Twitter video link). “Both sides, his agent and the Suns, they though they were going to come to an agreement on a trade before the season started, and things have been prolonged,” Haynes said. “He’s in the best shape possible of his career and he’s just ready to get back out there on the court.”

Pacific Notes: Murray, Warriors, Paul, Clippers

COVID-19 delayed Keegan Murray‘s NBA debut, but the Kings rookie was on the court tonight, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Murray had to sit out Wednesday’s season opener while recovering from the virus, but he was able to practice the past two days without any limitations.

“You can’t tell he had COVID,” De’Aaron Fox said. “Obviously, he’s still a rookie and he’s learning, but I think he’s excited and we’re excited to have him out there for a game that counts.”

Murray, the fourth pick in this year’s draft, raised expectations with a strong performance during Summer League and followed that by averaging 16.0 PPG while shooting 70.6% from the field and 70% from three-point range in two preseason games. He’s looking forward to performing for Sacramento fans after seeing the enthusiasm they brought to opening night.

 “We have one of the best fan bases in the NBA,” Murray said. “So just being able to play in front of them and get a win — that’s my biggest goal — I think it will be really special once I’m able to get back on the floor.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors boast a deep and talented roster that will eventually lead to tough decisions for head coach Steve Kerr, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Kerr used an 11-man rotation in the season opener, with nine players logging at least 15 minutes. “You have 11 guys that probably deserve the opportunity to play,” Stephen Curry said. “There’s going to be different lineups every night, especially early in the year. … We’re going to have to develop that chemistry as we go. You’re going to continue to try and experiment and give guys opportunities to go out and hoop.”
  • Chris Paul‘s early-season scoring decline shouldn’t be a long-term concern for the Suns, according to Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Bourguet notes that Paul has been concentrating on getting his teammates involved in the offense, and he ranks second in the league with 21 assists. Bourguet states that the team’s more pressing issues are a lack of bench production and a wide difference in the number of free throws they’ve shot compared to opponents.
  • Clippers owner Steve Ballmer unveiled his new streaming service tonight, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. ClipperVision is available without a cable subscription and will show 74 of the team’s 82 games. Six live stream options are offered for each game, and one includes former NBA players providing guest commentary.

Injury Notes: Garland, Embiid, Curry, J. Murray, More

Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, a first-time All-Star last season, has been ruled out of Saturday’s game at Chicago due to his eye injury, according to Chris Fedor of (Twitter links). Garland didn’t travel with the team and the “current feeling” is that Garland is “improbable” to play in Cleveland’s home opener on Sunday against Washington, Fedor adds.

Garland suffered a lacerated eyelid when he was inadvertently poked in the eye by Gary Trent Jr. in the second quarter of the Cavs’ 108-105 loss to the Raptors on Wednesday. Fedor reported on Thursday that Garland does not have structural damage and won’t require surgery.

Here are some more injury-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers says that Joel Embiid‘s conditioning was impacted by plantar fascitiis during the offseason, as Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia relays. “He had a little plantar fasciitis before the season started — before training camp — and that took him off his conditioning program,” Rivers said. “And so he’s back on that. But listen, he’s playing with the right intentions. He just didn’t play well, and that’s OK, too. That’s going to happen. We’ve still got to win those games.” The Sixers dropped their first two games of the season, with Embiid looking pretty sluggish. Rivers reiterated that Embiid is no longer dealing with the injury, but needs to regain his rhythm and conditioning.
  • Guard Seth Curry (offseason ankle surgery) is likely to travel with the Nets for their two-game road trip next week, but “probably” needs more practice time before he returns to action, head coach Steve Nash said on Friday (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).
  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who played his first regular season game on Wednesday since suffering a torn ACL in April 2021, is out for Friday’s game against the Warriors, head coach Michael Malone told reporters (Twitter links via Kendra Andrews of ESPN). According to Andrews, Malone said the Nuggets are resting Murray because Friday is the first of a back-to-back. However, that might not be the case for the entire season, Malone added.
  • No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray will make his debut on Saturday against the Clippers after being a full participant in Friday’s practice, a source tells ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. Murray was fully cleared by the Kings after exiting the health and safety protocols, Spears writes.
  • Dillon Brooks (left thigh soreness) and Ziaire Williams (right knee soreness) missed their second consecutive games for the Grizzlies on Friday, the team announced (via Twitter). Memphis won its opener against New York and defeated Houston in game two.

Health Updates: LaVine, Garland, Turner, K. Murray

After being ruled out for the Bulls‘ regular season opener due to “left knee management,” Zach LaVine told reporters that his absence was simply precautionary and that the left knee he underwent arthroscopic surgery on in the spring still felt fine. However, head coach Billy Donovan offered a different story when he spoke to the media, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago.

“There was a lot of very, very physically demanding practices, to be quite honest with you, coming out of the Milwaukee game,” Donovan said, referring to last Tuesday’s preseason finale. “And I think after a few of those, he felt some discomfort.”

As Donovan observed, the Bulls open the season with seven games in 11 days, so they didn’t want to ride their star swingman too hard out of the gate. LaVine’s absence won’t be “a long-term thing where he’s out for weeks,” according to Chicago’s head coach, who insisted that any discomfort LaVine felt didn’t come as a surprise to the club and is part of the recovery process.

“This is not, to me, anything that is unexpected,” Donovan said. “He’s going to experience, at times, whatever word you want to use, discomfort, soreness, whatever it is.”

Here are a few more updates on health issues from around the NBA:

  • Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland left Wednesday’s opener in the second quarter after getting hit in the face by Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. during a steal attempt and sustaining a left eyelid laceration, writes Chris Fedor of “His head and everything was clear,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “But he was cut and bleeding pretty bad from the inside of his eyelid.” According to Fedor, there’s no clarity yet on how much time Garland might miss, but the consensus among those who saw him after the game was that the eye “looked like it was in bad shape.”
  • Myles Turner‘s ankle sprain isn’t considered serious, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said after Wednesday’s game, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). It’s still unclear when Turner will return to action after missing Indiana’s opener on Wednesday, but it sounds like the team isn’t expecting it to be a long-term issue.
  • Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday and was in attendance at shootaround, though he didn’t play in the team’s season opener, tweets James Ham of ESPN 1320 Sacramento. Murray should be ready to make his regular season debut soon, after he clears the necessary conditioning benchmarks.

Injury Updates: Suggs, Nets, Westbrook, Bogdanovic

Magic guard Jalen Suggs, who was diagnosed with a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise after leaving the team’s October 7 preseason game, will be available when Orlando opens its regular season on Wednesday in Detroit, head coach Jamahl Mosley said on Sunday (link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).

It’s a somewhat surprising update, since bone bruises can be troublesome ailments and the Magic have generally taken a conservative approach when bringing back young players from injuries during the last couple years.

One orthopedic surgeon who spoke to Price last week speculated that the capsule sprain would take about two-to-four weeks to heal, while the bone bruise might extend Suggs’ recovery timeline beyond that. However, that surgeon didn’t assess Suggs first-hand, and it appears the former No. 5 overall pick will comfortably beat that estimated timeline.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • The Nets confirmed today that Joe Harris (foot) and Seth Curry (ankle) will not be available for the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, tweets Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. Harris and Curry, both of whom are coming back from ankle surgery, will continue to go through contact practices this week, with Brooklyn expecting to offer another update on Thursday.
  • Russell Westbrook‘s left hamstring injury isn’t considered serious, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who tweets that the Lakers guard will be listed as day-to-day after undergoing some tests. There’s no structural damage to the hamstring, Haynes adds.
  • Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic is making progress as he continues to recover from knee surgery, but he’s unlikely to be available for the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, head coach Nate McMillan told reporters on Sunday (Twitter link via Lauren L. Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
  • While Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray isn’t dealing with an injury, he has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, reports Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 Sacramento (Twitter link). It’s unclear if Murray will be cleared to play in the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday.

Pacific Notes: C. Johnson, Payne, Kings, Schröder, Wall

The Suns will be without a pair of rotation players for the rest of the preseason, the team announced today (Twitter link via Kellan Olson of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM). Cameron Johnson is out with a right thumb sprain, while Cameron Payne is dealing with a right finger sprain. Both Johnson and Payne will be reevaluated in a week, per the Suns, so it’s unclear at this point whether they’ll be ready to for the start of the regular season.

Here are a few more notes from around the Pacific:

  • Kevin Huerter is expected to be the Kings‘ starting shooting guard when the regular season tips off, but the starting power forward job remains up for grabs, head coach Mike Brown told reporters today (Twitter link via Sean Cunningham of FOX40 Sacramento). KZ Okpala and No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray appear to be the top contenders for that spot.
  • According to Cunningham, the Kings aren’t expected to make any cuts until after their second preseason game on Sunday. The team has just 12 players on guaranteed contracts, with five veterans and rookie Chima Moneke in camp on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals, vying for back-end roster spots.
  • Dennis Schröder‘s arrival stateside has been delayed due to a visa issue, but he’s scheduled to fly from Germany to Los Angeles this weekend to report to the Lakers, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Head coach Darvin Ham previously stated that he doesn’t expect it to take long for Schröder to find his rhythm once he joins the team.
  • John Wall is embracing the opportunity to play a secondary role alongside Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this season after years of being a go-to option in Washington, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. “Like I told (George) and Kawhi when I came here, my job is to make the game easier for them so when the fourth quarter comes around they’re not having to waste all that energy to make all the plays,” Wall said.

Kings Notes: Starting Lineup, Barnes, Sabonis

While De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Harrison Barnes are locked in as starters, two spots in the Kings‘ starting lineup remain up for grabs, head coach Mike Brown said this weekend.

“Obviously, Fox is going to start for us. Domas is going to start for us. HB is going to start for us,” Brown said, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “But we’re kind of up in the air a little bit with the two and the four spot, and there are some guys that we feel have a real good chance to start for us in those spots, but we’re going to keep mixing those two spots around to see what we can get.”

Kevin Huerter started as shooting guard during the Kings’ presseason opener vs. the Lakers on Monday, while KZ Okpala got the nod at power forward. However, neither player had a big night, while Malik Monk and Keegan Murray – two other contenders for those starting spots – combined for 24 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals.

Brown won’t make any decisions based on one night, but with the start of the regular season just two weeks away, every preseason game will be an important one as the Kings consider their options.

Here are a few more notes out of Sacramento:

  • Barnes, who is entering the final season of a four-year deal, isn’t oblivious to the fact that his name has popped up frequently in trade rumors over the last year or two, but he’s preparing to spend his full contract year in Sacramento, Anderson writes for The Sacramento Bee. “You know how the NBA is,” Barnes said. “I check Woj. I check Shams. They’ve still got me here, so as far as I’m concerned, this is where I’m supposed to be and I’m going to give it my best effort.”
  • Speaking to Mark Medina of, Sabonis discussed the Kings’ playoff chances, his chemistry with Fox, and how having the defensive-minded Brown on the sidelines will impact the team. “He’s a defensive coach, and he’s definitely trying to make life easy for us in terms of the terminology,” Sabonis said of Brown. “The defensive stuff we’re doing is going to help us out. It’ll depend on us. He’s giving us all the answers and the system of how we want to play as a team. Defense is about effort and competing. If we compete every game, it’s going to be tough.”
  • Making the play-in tournament is a “completely reasonable goal” for the Kings, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who previews Sacramento’s season and projects the team to finish 10th in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record.