Though the Detroit Pistons have a 14 percent chance at the top pick in this year’s NBA Draft, the odds could roll in another direction. So if they do, one player that is likely on their radar is Iowa forward Keegan Murray.
The 21-year-old had a breakout year during his sophomore season at Iowa becoming one of the Hawkeyes’ top offensive options. Murray ended the year with the best Player Efficiency Rating (38.2) in the country. He ranked fourth in points per game (23.6); 32nd in field goal percentage (.555); and 45th in blocks per contest (2.0), as well as double-doubles (10). His points per game average is the best among players from a major conference.
He scored 20 or more points 26 times and 25 or more points 16 times this season.
Murray would be the second Hawkeye the Pistons have drafted in the last two years after they took Luka Garza in the second round of the 2021 Draft.
- Position: Forward
- Height: 6-8
- Weight: 215 pounds
- Age: 21
- Key stats: 23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 55.4% FG, 39.8% 3FG
Murray’s capability of knocking down shots would allow him to help a team space the floor. Scouts have noted he can score at multiple levels due to his soft shooting touch and consistent shot mechanics. He’s also a solid option in pick-and-pop situations and has shown that he could hit some of his jump shots off screens. Murray has been noted for his ability to hit spot-up buckets, as well as his skill for knocking down pull-up jumpers due to his ability to make shots off the dribble down low or from midrange.
The 21-year-old forward has some solid court instincts and has been able to navigate what defenders have thrown at him. He has shown the ability to escape tight coverages with a variety of spin moves that allow him to get into the lane. He also knows how to exploit favorable matchups against smaller opponents and is capable of jump hooks as well as up and under moves when he gets into position.
While Murray was an efficient scorer at Iowa, shooting along the perimeter didn’t come naturally to him. Scouts have noted that Murray could make some poor shot choices. They said that he seemed to prefer driving and finishing with his right hand, which led to some odd possessions when he was forced to use his off-hand. On top of that, he could sometimes be loose with the ball in that area despite being a solid ball-handler in the open court, mid-post and high-post.
Murray will be 22 when the NBA season begins in October and could fit in nicely alongside the Pistons’ young core. He would pair along nicely with the team’s developing offensive threats of Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham. He would give them a third option should the Pistons opt to move on from veteran forward Jerami Grant.
The Iowa native would also give the Pistons another outsider shooter who can help them continue to expand their offense, as they continue to add more shooters to the roster. Murray would also bring aboard another versatile defender, who can give Isaiah Stewart plenty of help in the paint as a shot-blocker after he averaged 1.9 blocks per game at Iowa. He also averaged 1.3 steals per game.