The younger brother of the 4th overall pick last year, Keegan Murray, Kris Murray emerged from his older brother’s shadow and lived up to expectations as a junior star at Iowa, earning All-Big 10 honors. As a junior, Murray averaged 20.2 PPG, 8 RPG, 2 APG, 1 SPG, 1.2 BPG, and 1.5 TOPG on splits of 48/33.5/73. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Kris Murray
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’0/8’10
Hand size: 9
Pre-Draft team: Iowa
Tools: Off-ball ability, defense
- Good off-ball player; can cut & shoot well
- Active defensively
- Underrated quickness
- Solid recovery ability on defense that makes him hard to take out of plays
- Good footwork on ball-pickups; has a reliable up & under
- Quick twitch athlete that can get into a shot quickly
- Good motor
- Has a dangerous spin & half-spin move
- Good feel for the game
- Limited on-ball creator away from the post
- Straight line driver with minimal creativity as a shot-creator & slasher
- Needs to improve moving/curling jumpers consistency
- Lacks vertical explosiveness
Kris Murray profiles as a valuable 3&D forward with versatility on the defensive end.
Defensively, Murray can guard multiple positions, has great size at 6’8 with long arms, and has the instincts + athleticism combo to handle just about any matchup away from the post. Like his brother, Kris profiles as a day-one defender with upside to be a great defender in the league one day. Because of these traits, Murray is an easy defensive evaluation: his modern forward traits give him both a high floor as a day-one positive defender, with upside to become a premier point-of-attack defender on a playoff team.
Offensively, Murray thrives as an off-ball player. While there is some on-ball ability, his best created offense comes out of either catch & shoot or catch & drive situations. With the ability to use his shooting threat to his advantage, Murray does his best scoring off the dribble out of spot-up situations, being able to use pump fakes into an above-average first step, which can give him a head of steam to the rim with various counters and moves to beat the second layer of defenders near the paint. Murray has good body control on both ends, but offensively he uses his coordination to quickly throw defenders off-balance, which helps him generate more open looks at high-percentage spots. One example is below, where he uses a strong half-spin move on the drive out of spot-up situations to help him shake defenders.
With a strong motor, good instincts, plus size and overall a versatile profile, Murray projects well to stick in the NBA with a 10+ year career outlook. He will need to prove shooting consistency and develop more movement shooting ability to hit his full ceiling. While he is limited on-ball, his ability to do damage with three dribbles or less off the catch makes him a lethal off-ball option in NBA spacing where bigs won’t be able to camp in the paint.
As a generally mistake-free forward with defensive traits, 3 point shooting abilities, and potential to attack closeouts, Kris Murray feels like one of the safest non-lottery picks in the 2023 NBA Draft, which pushes him into the top 20 on my board.
Similar to: Trevor Ariza, Moe Harkless, Jae Crowder
Projected draft range: 17-29
Expected role: Off-ball prowess and defense, bordering 3&D
Unplayable if: Highly unlikely to be unplayable, but a worst case scenario would mean that his shot is only average.
Exceeds expectations if: Shooting consistency translates, and develops early.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & shoot 3s: 59/176 (33.5%)
Off the dribble 3s: 6/20 (30%)