While I have been critical of Monte McNair’s second-round decisions, I have constantly praised his first-round picks. Before the 2022 NBA Draft, I stated that I don’t question him with those. Whatever he chose to do with the 4th pick, keep it or trade it, I expected the outcome to help the Sacramento Kings.
McNair has been fantastic in the first round. Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell were great picks, and Keegan Murray appears to have a bright future ahead of him. McNair has been so good in the first round that I found myself wondering how many of his first round picks are future NBA All-Stars.
Haliburton averaged 14.3 points and 7.4 assists last season for the Kings before he was traded. While in Indiana, he averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 assists. With Malcolm Brogdon now in Boston, there is no question that the Indiana offense runs through Haliburton.
Hali was top 10 in assists per game last season, and if you only count his averages when he got to Indiana, he was in the top four.
If he doesn’t average a double-double next season, he will soon. Hali will lead the league in assists sometime during his career, and it will be a long career. He has a high IQ, which will help him have a long, Chris Paul-esque career.
Haliburton is a future All-Star.
I have already mentioned that I believe Davion Mitchell is a future All-Star. His defense is elite and with his work ethic, his offense will find consistency. Mitchell has a chance to be one of the best two-way guards in the league.
I’ll withhold my delusional thoughts for the moment, but let’s just say I’m very high on his potential. It will be tough for Mitchell to be voted to an All-Star Game if the Kings have other All-Stars on the team like say, De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, or Keegan Murray.
We are talking about a franchise that hasn’t had an All-Star since DeMarcus Cousins in 2016-17, but even with all that individual talent, I think Mitchell is a future All-Star. Once his offensive consistency catches up to his amazing defense, watch out.
It will be something to see.
Keegan Murray is the biggest unknown of the three because he hasn’t played a single NBA minute. He was great during the summer league, but the senior team is an entirely different beast. He also has the toughest path to an All-Star Game because not only will he be playing with talented players like Fox, Sabonis, and Mitchell, but of the four, he is the least likely to have the offense run through him.
Fox and Sabonis are the top offensive options, and Mitchell will run the show as the backup point guard. Murray, who needs to work on his handles, will probably score most of his points by moving without the ball or from spot-up threes.
As he grows as a player, he may be called upon to beat his defender in isolation when the shot clock is low like Harrison Barnes has done many times for the Kings, but that shouldn’t be necessary if the quick guards are more consistent from behind the arc.
Expect Murray to score points, but if the Kings’ offense is clicking, those points should be from backcuts that lead to layups or catch-and-shoot situations instead of off-the-bounce or isolation moments.
I am going to say Murray is a wait-and-see. It’s tough to predict how he’ll fair against NBA talent until he actually plays against them.
In my opinion, McNair has at least drafted two future All-Stars out of three drafts. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.