Player #1: Keegan Murray
Despite some up-and-downs, Keegan Murray had a good rookie campaign. He shattered the record for most threes made in a rookie season, led the team in three-point percentage on a high volume, and was a playoff starter.
Now, after a monster summer league performance, it seems that he is all set up for a sophomore jump. The key might just be learning to be comfortable with creating his own shot, which could change the Kings’ ceiling as well as accelerate his rise through the NBA ranks.
Last season, Murray averaged around 12 points by mostly relying on others to set him up. 97.6 percent of his three-point shots and 70.9 percent of his two-point field goals were assisted. For a rookie, who is surrounded by veterans and star players that is not surprising.
He didn’t have the same margin of error as some other high draft picks on non-contending teams, and that can be a lot to work through for a young player. Now, that he has had a first year of success and carried his weight on one of the top teams in the West, however, that should change.
Just imagine what Murray’s scoring and the Kings’ offense could become if he just called his own number sometimes. It would give the Kings another offensive weapon defenses have to plan for and a new option to pick up the slack when Fox or Sabonis are either out or struggling on a given night.
We shouldn’t expect Murray to be the Kings’ second or third-leading scorer just yet, but the Kings have high hopes for him in the future. If he can take a sophomore jump and be more aggressive as a scorer, however, he would truly be on everyone’s radar throughout the entire league even before this happens.