San Antonio Spurs Draft

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Pre-lottery look at every team's best option

Jaden Ivey
Jaden Ivey / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Keegan Murray, 2022 NBA Mock Draft
Keenan Murray - Big Ten Tournament - Northwestern v Iowa / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

Power Forward. 9. . Iowa. player. 29. . Keegan Murray

Positionally and practically, Keegan Murray is exactly what the San Antonio Spurs need out of their 2022 NBA Draft pick. A 6-foot-8 bulldozing forward whose game fluctuates between grace and grit, Murray boasts versatility that’s hard to come by at any level. Unranked in high school, he became the breakout star of college basketball by refusing to be denied on either side of the floor.

Defenders are forced to pick their poison when guarding Murray since he does damage in the paint and on the perimeter. He’s a threat when attacking the rim or facing up but also thrives in team sets. Boasting a variety of post moves, Murray is adept at scoring from just about anywhere within eight feet of the basket because of his impressive touch and acute footwork. The cherry on top? He drained 38% of 137 3-point attempts and made a respectable 74.7% of free throws.

For all that he does on offense, Murray's defense would benefit the Spurs most. His effort level never wavers, sticking in front of his matchup and tracking their movements to contest shots from anywhere on the court. He’s a terrific weak-side shot-blocker with instinctive timing that he uses to rotate and send shots flying. That same attitude translates to the perimeter, where he can hold his own during switches or while tracking drivers in drop coverage.

There’s a chance Murray gets overlooked because he’ll be a 22-year-old rookie, but his path was untraditional. Between high school and college, he spent a year at prep school unlocking new facets of his game. The following season, he was stashed on the bench behind the National Player of the Year, working in the shadows to emerge as a goliath for Iowa. However, that kind of commitment to development aligns nicely with the Spurs’ philosophy. If he's still on the board, San Antonio needs to select him.

WRITER'S NOTE: Murray is a bit divisive in the draft community, ranging between pick five and 12 on some mocks. As of Mock Draft 3.0, I'd list the Spurs' best options in this order: Murray, Sharpe, Sochan, Duren, and Eason.

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