SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
Iowa's Keegan Murray became a Sacramento King Thursday night, and the team's general manager couldn't be happier.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Keegan to the Kings family," he said.
Murray, a 6'8" forward who started all 35 games for the Iowa Hawkeyes last year, was picked fourth overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. He is the highest NBA selection ever for the Hawkeyes.
McNair added, "Ultimately, after sitting in the room with my front office staff, our whole staff, our scouting department, our analytics department [it] became unanimous that Keegan Murray was the best player available, and we jumped at the chance to select him."
McNair praised Murray for his versatility and dynamic gameplay, as well as his status as a "universally-loved teammate."
"Obviously Keegan [is an] extremely well-rounded player, a two-way player, one of the most prolific scorers in the country: blocks, steals, rebounds, impacts the game in so many ways," McNair said.
As a sophomore, Murray averaged 23.5 points per game on 55.4% shooting, leading the country in points scored.
"We think Keegan has an extremely high ceiling," McNair said. "We think he's gonna come in here and prove that to everyone."
The general manager also responded to questions about Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, who many projected to go fourth to Sacrament. Ivey instead went fifth to the Detroit Pistons.
"There's a lot of good prospects in this draft, there's gonna be a lot of good players to come out of this draft," McNair said. "We're certainly here to talk about Keegan, somebody who we confidently thought was the best player available at number four."
Other takeaways from the presser
Is there a playoff mandate for the Kings?
"None. There's no mandate. We've been very clear what our goal is: we want to win, we want to make the playoffs. And we want to continue and stay there. But there's no mandate to do so."
What do you think of the opinion that Keegan Murray has a "low ceiling"?
"I would say go back and look at some guys who people thought had low ceilings. I don't know how you would say that about a guy who led the country in in points scored ... We think Keegan has an extremely high ceiling. We think he's gonna come in here and prove that to everyone."
How do you think Iowa developed him?
"We all know the year that Keegan had this year, and it was fantastic. But Keegan is somebody that was on our radar last year, even though he had a smaller role. The things he does on the court show up even in smaller samples. And so, you know, the fact that he took it to the heights he did this year is certainly a testament to him and the program ... The fact that he continues to grow like that, you know, is another positive as we look into his future."