Draft Watch: Kentucky's Jamal Murray Declares for NBA Draft


Source: cbsports.com

 

Kentucky guard Jamal Murray declared for the NBA draft today, a decision that could have the Bucks front office thinking.  

Murray is a freshman, so him leaving makes him a one-and-done player, an ever increasing trend among college athletes, particularly basketball players.  

Across many big boards from various sources, Murray is expected to be a top 10 pick.  CBS Sports has him as high as #4.  According to the website tankathon.com, the Bucks have the #9 overall pick, with a 6.1% chance at a top 3 pick, and a 1.7% chance at the #1 overall pick.  While I am known for being against tanking, there isn't much the Bucks can do positionwise, as the teams ahead of the Bucks are traditionally bad.  

Murray is a popular idea among Bucks fans (along with Buddy Hield, but a lot of luck is involved with that) because of his ability to shoot.  In his college career, as short as it was, Murray averaged 20 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG.  Murray can play point, however his strength is the 2 guard position because of his size at 6'5" with a 6'7" wingspan.  Regardless, he would not be starting at PG on the offensive side, as Bucks coach Jason Kidd said Giannis Antetokounmpo would be the starter at the 1.  However, Murray could guard the opposing point guard, as Giannis is too tall to do so.  

Murray also can create shots and make them , shooting 45% from the field and 40% from 3 point land, both stats warmly welcomed by the Bucks.  On the other end, Murray's defense is spotty for the NBA level, which is worrying as he could be the one defending the opposing point guard.  A major issue is the inability to fight through screens and below average lateral quickness.

Still, if Hield is gone and Murray is available, that would be a good draft choice.  The Bucks desperately need shooting and Murray can provide it.  Although his defense is a question, the Bucks have been turning away from defense, much like the rest of the association, and towards higher point production, which was shown with the addition of solid scorer Greg Monroe.  I could see a potential lineup as:

1) Giannis Anteokounmpo  2) Jamal Murray  3) Khris Middleton  4) Jabari Parker  5) Greg Monroe

This would be a scoring lineup, however people like Monroe can move to the bench in order to aid those players, primarily in point production.

I will leave you with a highlight from Murray's season: 

 

 

 

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