With the 11th overall pick in the Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers are back at the podium and select Iowa’s Keegan Murray.
I noted in the first version of our mock draft that I did not believe that Keegan Murray is worthy of a top-five pick and I still maintain that belief in this mock draft. 11th overall is a much better spot for him, and if I’m a team in the 8-10 range that needs some offensive firepower in their frontcourt, I wouldn’t mind him going to a team in that range either. What I love about this selection for the Trail Blazers, though, is the possible dynamic that could be had between Murray and Jalen Duren.
Keegan Murray has been one of the most consistent and versatile scorers in college basketball and the advanced stats love him for that reason. One of my Air Alamo co-contributors, Dylan Carter, put together a fantastic in-depth analysis of his game on both ends of the floor that’s worth a read for fans of any team.
To summarize my thoughts on Murray as concisely as possible, I’m much more of a believer in his offense than his defense. His 3-point shooting has been very convincing, he’s a fluid athlete in transition, and he seems to frequently find himself in the right places at the right times for easy points. Even though I have some worries about his ability to create his own shot, I think his other offensive skills will translate well to the next level.
I think Murray is a very good quality help defender around the basket, but I have worries about virtually all other areas of his defense with a particular emphasis on his on-ball defense on the perimeter.
Thankfully, though, this is where Jalen Duren would come into the equation. Duren’s ability to switch on defense, pass out of the short roll on offense, and his overall dominance in the paint on both ends of the floor would pair incredibly well with Murray’s more complete offensive skillset. This combination of players could make for a versatile, high-floor, high-ceiling duo that can dominate both ends of the floor.