Issue # 1: Keegan Murray’s shot creation
This is not an issue in the sense that Murray was not already a good player for the Kings last season. Averaging 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists, he had a pretty good rookie campaign and managed to hold his own in the playoffs, too.
One of Murray’s accomplishments last season is that he had the best three-point shooting campaign for a rookie since Donovan Mitchell in the 2017-18 season, but 97.6 percent of those threes were assisted. It was not much different with two-point field goals. 70.9 percent of the attempts Murray took inside the arc were assisted as well.
Of course, it is important to remember that Murray is only 23 and played with some big names right from the start. It is understandable that he was hesitant to be aggressive and take up a lot of touches. If he learns to create his own shot, however, it will take some offensive pressure off Sabonis and Fox.
It could also very well allow the Kings’ offense to take another step forward and be the key to a sophomore jump for Murray. Teams will guard him differently now and might take away a lot of catch-and-shoot opportunities.
So, if he could attack more off the dribble and look more for his own shot, defenses would have to adjust once again. It would also give the Kings’ offense another dimension, especially when Murray plays with the second unit.
During his Summer League stint, he did exactly that, and now the coaching staff should work with him to translate it to the regular season. Training camp is a good start for that.
It offers plenty of opportunities to put Murray in a position where he has to be assertive as a scorer and create for himself. He could, for example, be teamed up with the bench unit against the starters to get him used to being a top scoring option in certain lineups.