3 budding NBA stars who have already proven they’re too good for Summer League

Tre Mann, Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Tre Mann, Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings, NBA Summer League
Keegan Murray (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

No. 1 NBA Summer League standout: Keegan Murray, Kings

Keegan Murray finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting last season. He started for the No. 3 seed in the West — the only rookie to start all season for a high-end contender. If there were any lingering doubts about his professional viability, he’s putting them to bed in Summer League.

Murray put together one of the most complete performances you’ll ever see in Wednesday’s OT win over the Heat. Murray dropped 41 points on 20 shots with five rebounds and four blocks. He got to the free throw line 15 times, showcasing facets of his game we seldom saw in year one with Sacramento.

The Kings selected Murray with the No. 4 pick in last year’s NBA Draft after a historically productive season at Iowa. He was older than your typical top-four pick, but he made up for it with perceived NBA readiness. Sacramento hit the jackpot in that regard; Murray immediately contributed with the most 3-point field goals in NBA rookie history.

At 6-foot-9, Murray brings obvious value as a big wing who can set nets alight from deep. In Summer League, however, Murray is expanding his repertoire. He’s hitting more shots pulling up and on the move. He’s beating closeouts, getting to the rim, and creating his own looks. He’s absolutely blowing up opposing plays on defense, too.

The Kings probably can’t count on many 41-point performances from Murray when the real season begins, but he may be more than the 3-and-D wing many thought Sacramento was drafting. Don’t be shocked if Murray isn’t featured in the Kings’ Vegas plans.

Grading every 2023 NBA Draft pick. dark. Next