Keegan Murray

Kings’ Keegan Murray Cleared Following Wrist Surgery

Kings rookie Keegan Murray, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2022 draft, has been “cleared to resume all basketball activities” after undergoing right wrist surgery in July, a league source tells James Ham of ESPN 1320 (Twitter link).

Three weeks ago, Ham reported that Murray was progressing well in his recovery and was shooting again with both hands. Ham was also the first to report that Murray had surgery, characterizing it as a “minor” procedure and that Murray was expected to recovery quickly. Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 KTXL later stated that the team expected Murray to be ready for training camp, and that certainly appears to be the case.

It’s great news for both the Kings and Murray, as he flashed tantalizing two-way potential during Summer League action, winning MVP in Las Vegas. He averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals on .500/.400/.808 shooting in his four Vegas games.

Murray also had a great run at the California Classic Summer League in San Francisco. He averaged 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals on .511/.438/1.000 shooting in three games, per RealGM.

The 22-year-old had a relatively quiet freshman season for Iowa, averaging 7.2 points and 5.2 rebounds on .506/.296/.755 shooting in 31 games (18.0 minutes). However, Murray emerged as one of the best college players in the country during the 2021/22 season, winning numerous awards after averaging 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks on .554/.398/.747 shooting.

The 6’8″ forward is expected to play a major role for a Kings team that badly wants to end its 16-year playoff drought. Sacramento finished last season with a 30-52 record, 12th in the Western Conference.

Magic Notes: Shittu, Harris, Bamba, Banchero

After three years of working for an NBA opportunity, Simisola Shittu may be getting his best chance with the Magic, writes Tony East of Forbes. A report earlier this month indicates that Shittu will be in training camp with Orlando, likely on an Exhibit 10 contract.

The 22-year-old was considered a top prospect when he enrolled at Vanderbilt, but he suffered a torn ACL that healed just in time for his lone collegiate season. He went undrafted in 2019 and spent two years in the G League before heading to Israel. He played for the Pacers in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League, earning himself a chance with the Magic.

“I’m resilient,” he said. “Certain cards don’t fall the right way or anything like that. But at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve just continued to grow from it and gotten better each year.”

There’s more from Orlando:

California Notes: Curry, Baldwin, Murray, L.A. Rivalry

Coming off his first Finals MVP award and his fourth title since 2015, Warriors All-NBA point guard Stephen Curry clearly remains one of the league’s elite players, and obviously its single-best shooter. Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area makes the case that it’s time to officially anoint the eight-time All-Star as the elite of the elites — the NBA’s current best player.

Johnson notes that Curry vanquished a series of All-NBA foes in his postseason run through the West, besting Nikola Jokic, Ja Morant, and Luka Doncic in plus-minus by an absurd margin in each case. In six Finals games, Curry posted averages of 31.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 5.0 APG and 2.0 SPG. He connected on 48.2% of his field goals and 43.7% of his long-range looks.

Johnson also discusses Curry’s astronomical on/off-court impact on the Warriors — Golden State’s offense rating was 27.2 points higher when he took the floor during the team’s Finals series against the Celtics, one of the league’s best defenses.

Here’s more from California’s four NBA teams:

  • In a Dubs Talk podcast interview with Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area, Warriors rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. discussed the various contemporary players whose diverse approach to the game he hopes to replicate. “I like to watch [Kevin Durant], I like to watch Khris Middleton, I like to watch [Jayson Tatum],” Baldwin told Johnson. “I’m watching Otto Porter Jr., Michael Porter Jr. — guys that I think have roles that I can fill some day… It’s just important to be multifaceted and learn from everybody.”
  • With Thunder lottery pick Chet Holmgren now out for the 2022/23 season, Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray has seen his chances of earning Rookie of the Year honors improve significantly, writes Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. Murray’s odds moved from 9-to-1 to 5-to-1 following Holmgren’s injury, per Anderson. Sacramento selected the 2022 consensus All-American out of Iowa with the fourth pick in this year’s draft.
  • The Clippers are hoping their expensive new Inglewood arena, Intuit Dome, will help improve their standing in the Los Angeles NBA pecking order with regards to the Lakers, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “I think this’ll be so cool,” Clippers team owner Steve Ballmer said of the team getting its own home arena, separate from the downtown Arena, which they share with the Lakers, Kings and Sparks. “And it needs to be. You said this is a Laker town. No. [It’s a] Laker-Clipper [town]… And someday I want to be able to say Clipper-Laker [town].”

Keegan Murray On Track In Wrist Surgery Recovery

Kings rookie Keegan Murray is showing progress and is on track in his recovery from wrist surgery, James Ham of The Kings Beat reported (via Twitter). As Ham notes, Murray is now shooting with both hands.

The 22-year-old underwent a minor procedure on his right wrist last month. He had the surgery after a successful Las Vegas Summer League stint, where he averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game on 50% shooting.

Murray was drafted No. 4 overall by Sacramento in June. His recovery seems to be progressing at a good pace, as training camps open in the NBA next month. As we previously relayed, Sacramento expects Murray to be ready before training camp begins. The operation “cleaned out some loose bodies” in his wrist, causing him to only train with his left hand in the weeks that followed.

Murray will likely start or see significant minutes off the bench for a Kings team that finished just 30-52 last season.

Community Shootaround: Kings’ Outlook

The Kings broke an ignominious NBA record last season, missing out on the postseason for the 16th consecutive year. However, things appear to be a bit brighter heading into 2022/23.

Here’s a quick rundown of the team’s current roster:



Out (or likely out):

With a projected starting lineup of Fox, Huerter/Monk, Murray, Barnes and Sabonis, the Kings have an interesting blend of youth, speed, shooting and athleticism. A reserve squad featuring Mitchell, Huerter/Monk, Metu/Lyles and Holmes looks pretty solid on paper as well, though the roster is a little thin on wing depth and interior size/rim protection.

A full offseason should help Fox and Sabonis, the two offensive hubs, create an even more potent rhythm together. Sabonis was acquired ahead of the trade deadline in February, and Fox thrived after the deal, averaging 28.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.8 APG and 1.0 SPG on .503/.380/.766 shooting in 16 games (38.5 MPG), but the team still struggled.

The main question I have about Sacramento entering next season is the defense, because while Huerter and Monk are both strong (albeit streaky) shooters, neither is a great defender, nor are Fox and Sabonis. Losing DiVincenzo, a stout defender, without even extending a qualifying offer was a bit of a head-scratcher.

Of course, one of the team’s biggest offseason moves was hiring Mike Brown as head coach, a defensive-minded tactician, but it’s fair to question how much he’ll revamp the team’s defense given the lack of quality defenders up and down the roster. Buy-in is great and all, but defense isn’t purely about effort, it requires skill, aptitude and awareness as well.

Much of the Kings’ success might hinge upon the play of Murray, who got off to an encouraging NBA start after being named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, but unfortunately suffered a right wrist injury that required surgery shortly thereafter. However, a league source tells James Ham of ESPN 1320 and The Kings Beat (Twitter link) that Murray is progressing well in his recovery and is shooting again with both hands.

The West is stacked with talented teams, so even reaching the play-in tournament will be difficult. The Warriors, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Pelicans all look strong, and the Lakers and Blazers are looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons.

We want to know what you think. Will the Kings finally snap their postseason drought? Is the play-in tournament a more realistic goal? Could Murray be the difference-maker the team has long been looking for? Head to the comments section to weigh in on Sacramento’s prospects for the upcoming season.

Keegan Murray Recovering From Wrist Surgery

Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray, the fourth pick in the 2022 draft out of Iowa, underwent surgery on his right wrist following this year’s Las Vegas Summer League, per James Ham of ESPN 1320 (Twitter link).

Ham calls the surgery “minor,” and says the operation was necessary to “clean out some loose bodies” in Murray’s wrist. The right-hander has already returned to the hardwood following his procedure and is currently shooting with his left hand while the right wrist continues to recover, according to Ham.

The Kings anticipate Murray will return to the floor in time for the start of the 2022/23 regular season, Ham adds. Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 KTXL tweets that Sacramento does not expect the No. 4 overall pick to miss the team’s training camp, slated to tip off in September.

Murray enjoyed a robust Summer League stint. His output earned him the 2022 Summer League MVP award. The 6’8″ wing averaged 23.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, and 1.3 SPG across four contests, while connecting on 50% of his field goal looks, 40% of his long-range attempts, and 80.8% of his free throws.

Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee notes that Murray averaged the most points for a top-10 lottery selection during Summer League since Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard in 2012.

Pacific Notes: Murray, Suns, Christie, Bazemore

Keegan Murray is bringing hope to Kings fans after an MVP performance in the Las Vegas Summer League, writes Steve Bulpett of The No. 4 overall pick displayed an advanced offensive array while averaging 23.3 points per game and shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three-point range.

Many draft observers criticized the Kings for passing on Jaden Ivey to select Murray, but he’s a better fit with the current roster and is showing signs that he’ll be able to contribute right away. An unidentified personnel executive told Bulpett that Murray was the second most impressive player in Summer League behind Paolo Banchero.

“I don’t think people knew how well he could shoot the ball,” the executive said of Murray. “He’s a tremendous shooter. That still has to translate to the real games, but I think he opened some people’s eyes. The Kings could be really interesting if (new head coach) Mike (Brown) can get those guys to realize what they can do. It’s been a long time since Sacramento was any good, and these guys obviously weren’t there for all of it, but sometimes it can be hard for a team to take that first big step.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns seem committed to being a taxpaying team after matching the Pacers’ offer sheet for Deandre Ayton, and Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic examines whether the roster is good enough to justify that investment. Phoenix currently has $167.1MM in guaranteed salary, well above the projected $150.267MM tax threshold, and is facing a projected $34.8MM tax bill.
  • The Lakers have been watching Max Christie since 2019 and he was the top prospect on their draft board by far when it was time for their pick at No. 35, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “Just him showing flashes of being a good perimeter shooter with his shooting mechanics and being able to create his own shot off the dribble,” said assistant general manager and co-owner Jesse Buss. “A high-IQ player, obviously, with his size and his length, at the two guard position.”
  • Free agent Kent Bazemore posted an online photo of his workouts with former Warriors teammate Stephen Curry (hat tip to Joey Linn of Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation). Bazemore, who left Golden State to sign with the Lakers last summer, is waiting for an offer for next season.

Keegan Murray Named Las Vegas Summer League MVP

Kings forward Keegan Murray has been named the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League, according to an announcement from the NBA (Twitter link).

Murray, the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in his four Summer League games. He also made 50% of his shots from the field and knocked down 40% of his 8.8 three-point attempts per contest.

It was a terrific start for a rookie who figures to play a major role for a Kings team that badly wants to end its 16-year playoff drought. The first player selected after the consensus top three prospects were off the board, Murray was rated behind No. 5 pick Jaden Ivey on some experts’ draft boards, so the two youngsters will likely be measured against one another for at least the first year or two of their professional careers.

Murray looks like he’ll be an excellent fit on a Kings roster led by De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, two talented scorers who aren’t elite defenders or reliable outside shooters. The former Iowa standout is capable of stretching the floor and handling a variety of defensive assignments, so he’ll presumably see plenty of action alongside Sacramento’s two stars.

Tari Eason (Rockets), Quentin Grimes (Knicks), Sandro Mamukelashvili (Bucks), and Cam Thomas (Nets) joined Murray on the All-Summer League First Team, according to the league (Twitter links). Thomas and another King, Davion Mitchell, shared the Summer League MVP award in 2021.

This year’s All-Summer League Second Team is made up of Santi Aldama (Grizzlies), Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers), Marko Simonovic (Bulls), Trendon Watford (Trail Blazers), and Lindell Wigginton (Bucks).

Pacific Notes: Iguodala, Rollins, Lakers, Murray, Clippers

The Warriors only have 11 players on standard contracts so far, leaving at least three openings on their projected regular season roster. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, it’s possible one of those spots will be filled by Andre Iguodala.

Golden State hasn’t set any sort of deadline for Iguodala to make a decision on whether or not he wants to continue his playing career, so there will be a roster spot available for him if he decides he wants to continue playing, Slater explains.

Second-round pick Ryan Rollins also appears likely to claim one of the 15-man roster spots. He has a stress fracture in his foot, but Slater says there’s a belief he should be ready to go by training camp and he’ll likely receive a standard contract rather than a two-way deal.

Quinndary Weatherspoon, who received a two-way qualifying offer from the Warriors, is another player to watch, according to Slater, though he says the team’s preference would be to keep Weatherspoon on a two-way contract rather than a standard deal.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • While some rival scouts and executives questioned the Lakers‘ decision to use their taxpayer mid-level exception on Lonnie Walker and didn’t love the signing of Troy Brown, the general reaction to the team’s free agency moves has been positive, says Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. In particular, Los Angeles received “high marks” for getting centers Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones on minimum-salary contracts, according to Woike.
  • In an episode of The Void Podcast, Kevin O’Connor, J. Kyle Mann, and Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer make the case that the Kings made the right choice picking Keegan Murray over Jaden Ivey, suggesting that Murray is an ideal fit for Sacramento’s roster.
  • The contracts signed by Moses Brown, Jay Scrubb, and Xavier Moon with the Clippers are all Exhibit 10 deals, Hoops Rumors has learned. That means they’re one-year, non-guaranteed minimum-salary contracts which won’t count against the cap unless the player makes the regular season roster.

Pacific Notes: Murray, Vezenkov, Santos, Leonard

Kings first-round pick Keegan Murray put on a show Saturday in the California Classic Summer League, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. The No. 4 selection posted 26 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes and drew a vocal crowd reaction with his array of moves.

“My goal going in was, obviously, get the win first,” Murray said. “I knew that was a big thing for me, and just play my game. Don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Don’t do anything I was uncomfortable doing. Just stick to what I do best, and that’s knock down shots and get rebounds, so I just stuck to it.”

Murray said he wasn’t nervous heading into his first game as a professional and he was encouraged after seeing his first shot fall. He wound up shooting 10 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 5 from three-point range, and impressed his coaches and teammates with his efficiency.

“Every time, it seems like he does the right thing,” Summer League coach Jordi Fernandez said. “He doesn’t force it. He makes it look simple, and, as you guys know, when you watch a professional athlete that, whatever he does looks simple, that is usually a really good professional athlete. Overall, I think the kid is very special. What we saw in college, I’m seeing it right now, and if I have to — well, I cannot bet because this is the NBA, but if I could, I’m going to say that he’s going to be a very, very, very good NBA player.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Sasha Vezenkov, whose draft rights were acquired last month in a trade with Cleveland, will meet with the Kings during the Las Vegas Summer League to discuss his future, according to Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops. The 26-year-old forward is under contract with Olympiacos, but he has NBA opt-outs this summer and in 2023.
  • Gui Santos, a second-round pick by the Warriors, also had an impressive Summer League debut, notes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 21-year-old swingman out of Brazil had 23 points, six rebounds and three steals. “Before the game, I was nervous because it’s a different game here,” Santos said. “I’m playing outside of my country and my family is not here. But when I started to play, I gained confidence. Catching the ball and making the plays, I started to feel better.” Golden State will likely keep Santos overseas for another year or two, but that decision hasn’t been finalized.
  • Clippers owner Steve Ballmer believes “the sky is the limit” for his team, especially if Kawhi Leonard can make a full comeback from the torn right ACL that prevented him from playing this season, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.