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NBA Draft Profile: Jamal Murray
- Updated: June 1, 2016
By: Trevor Keyes
STRENGTHS: Jamal Murray was a highly-recruited player for John Calipari, who has recruited the equivalent of a couple of NBA All-Star teams over the years. However, the 19-year-old Murray may be the best shooter Calipari has ever had at Kentucky (with the possible exception of Devin Booker). His form is elegant, and teams have fallen in love with him in the early draft process because you can’t get enough great shooting these days.
Another strength is that Murray has prototypical size for a 1 or a 2 guard, and can play both positions. He’s a terrific ball handler, and an extremely athletic attacker who can score at the rim, defend, and block shots. He’s also got excellent first step quickness, and defenders already have to respect his shot.
Another strength that Murray possesses is his clutch factor. He is not afraid to take the final shot when given the opportunity.
WEAKNESSES: Now the biggest thing for Murray is that–yes he was a point guard at times at Kentucky, but he is naturally a 2 guard, which may be the position that best suits him in the NBA. The freshman did lose focus at times, and may try to be over aggressive with regards to going for a steal, which can hurt his team. Murray falls in love with his outside shooting game a little bit too much, rather than being an all-around player at times. He can also be turnover-prone, having given up 2.6 per game last season, and might be too small (6-4) to have a major impact worthy of a top-five pick if he can’t play the point at the next level.
BOTTOM LINE: Murray is already a polished shooter, and is highly athletic, and those are traits he can definitely work with in the NBA. However, he needs to work on his discipline on both ends of the court. Whoever selects Murray is getting an outstanding shooter who has ice in his veins. However, he needs to work on possibly being a point guard due to his size. Now the great thing about Murray is that he is so young (19) and has so many years to continue to grow, and be able to reach his full potential.
Player Comparison: Klay Thompson,