The Kings are right not to trade Keegan Murray 

Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets
Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

After their first successful season in years, the Kings seem right on the brink of growing into a real contender. Trading for a third All-Star could get them there, but the organization is very particular about who they are willing to trade.

Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, and Davion Mitchell are available. Keegan Murray is not, however. Murray is just in his second season and is undoubtedly the most promising young player on the Kings’ squad. Teams like the Raptors would love to get him in return for one of their older All-Stars, but the Kings immediately shut that down.

They are not letting go of Murray, and rightfully so. 

Keegan Murray is growing into a star right before our eyes

Murray’s rookie season was impressive. He averaged 12.2 points, shot 41.1 percent from three, set a new record for made three-pointers in a rookie season, and was the only lottery pick starting on a playoff team. 

Every single team needs shooting, lots of it, so that was a welcome sight from a rookie. Over just one summer, Murray has already developed into so much more than just a catch-and-shoot threat. 

After playing one-on-one against De’Aaron Fox, one of the fastest players in the league, all offseason long, he is now an impactful defender. Last season, teams targeted him on defense. Now, he knows how to move his feet better and use his length. As a result, he matches up with the opposing team’s best player night after night, ranging from point guards to power forwards.

His three-point percentage has dropped compared to last season after some early struggles, but it seems to be coming along fine lately. One reason for this could simply have been that he had to get used to a bigger role on defense and the energy it requires first. 

Meanwhile, his points per game, field goal attempts, rebounds assists, and steals have all gone up. He now looks much more comfortable putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim, collecting some nice highlight dunks already.

Murray is the Kings’ third-leading scorer, second-best rebounder, and best overall defender in just his second season as a pro. Give him some more time, and he could easily turn into the Kings’ second-best player. 

Just this month, he scored over 15 points in four out of six games. This includes two big back-to-back games against Detroit and Charlotte and two consecutive double-doubles against Orlando and Toronto. 

This is the kind of player you want to keep around. Big forwards who can shoot threes, defend at a high level, and crash the boards are not easy to come by and have been the Kings’ weakest spots for a while now. 

The organization clearly believes that Murray is a future star, and it already looks like they are right. The stats and the eye test both point in that direction, proving the Kings right to not include Keegan Murray in any trade talks to make a win-now move that could easily go wrong.