The Portland Trail Blazers have selected Iowa forward Kris Murray with the 23rd pick in the NBA Draft.
The 22-year-old is the twin brother of Sacramento Kings forward Keegan, who was taken with the third pick a year ago.
Last season, the 6’8 forward averaged 20.2 points on 33.5 percent three point shooting, 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steal.
Blazer’s Edge Draft Guru Steve Dewald wrote about Murray as a potential play at the 23rd pick yesterday, citing the forward’s versatility on the court.
Kris stepped out of his twin brother Keegan’s shadow last season to post 20.2 points per game for the Hawkeyes. Murray is a flexible option in the frontcourt. From setting up for catch-and-shoot opportunities to operating as the primary facilitator, Murray has shown he can thrive in multiple roles. Defensively, Murray is rarely caught flat footed and he has the athleticism to stay in front of ball handlers looking to get to the cup.
Murray will be 23 years old when he steps on a NBA court for the first time. Due to his age, his upside is in question. Similar to Lewis, Murray is a high-floor option at pick No. 23.
Following the pick, Dewald gave an instant reaction:
Murray might not have the ceiling of the forwards selected in front of him, but he has an NBA-ready set of skills that provide a strong foundation for the future. He produced over 20 points per game as a feature player last season. Murray won’t be asked to carry that level of an offensive workload in the NBA, but he can certainly keep defenses honest. Defensively, Murray is a breath of fresh air. He maintains proper position and matches up with tenacity in one-on-one assignments.
The Blazers received the 23rd pick from the New York Knicks at February’s trade deadline in the deal that sent Josh Hart to Madison Square Garden and Matisse Thybulle and Cam Reddish to Portland.
The Blazers selected Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick earlier in the draft.