Hype or Gripe: Brother of Golden State Warriors’ rival could end up in The Bay

Kris Murray of the Iowa Hawkeyes operates in the post (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)
Kris Murray of the Iowa Hawkeyes operates in the post (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images) /

This season ended in disappointment for the Golden State Warriors, the first time their ‘big three’ lost in the postseason together when healthy. The new CBA will greatly limit their options moving forward, and the team chemistry just looked awful at times in 2022-23.

While it’s not guaranteed to help, the 2023 NBA Draft is incredibly deep, potentially allowing the Warriors to pick up an experienced player who can contribute from day one. Their use of the 19th pick is particularly important given they’ll be unable to make many moves in free agency.

There are a few players that should be available later in the draft that fit the description of a ready-now player, but one stands out more than others. Twin brother of Warriors’ divisional rival Keegan, Kris Murray is projected to go in the middle of the first-round in Thursday’s draft.

Kris Murray could be a major factor for the Golden State Warriors

Despite his twin brother going top five a year ago, Kris Murray was projected to go in the second-round in last year’s draft. This is largely due to a foot injury he sustained in his sophomore year, allowing his brother to take more of the spotlight and develop a little quicker as a creator.

Ironically, while Keegan was a great shot creator in college, then transitioned to being more of a spot up threat in the NBA, Kris is more of a spot up shooter who shows flashes of being a great creator. That skill set in particular would be incredibly dangerous in the Warriors’ system.

Murray is a dangerous three-point shooter both off the dribble and from the catch, displaying that constantly throughout his college career. His shooting should translate to the NBA — his brother broke the NBA record for most three-pointers made by a rookie last season, shooting upwards of 40% from beyond the arc.

As stated above, Kris has shown the capacity to create his own shot, but is also a solid passer who can make the right play. While not a point-guard by any means, he’s willing to make the extra pass and can find a cutting teammate.

He is also a solid defender at the collegiate level and is capable of slowing down opposing wings. At 6’8″ he has impressive size and switchability for a player of his age, making him an potentially valuable bench piece for the Warriors from next season.

Age is the biggest factor holding Kris Murray from being a lottery pick

Already nearly 23-years-old, Murray is going to be on the older side for a rookie. This is typically a sign of a low ceiling/high floor player who can contribute immediately. While this is exactly what the Warriors need, it could bite them later on.

Jordan Poole is only a year older despite already having four NBA seasons under his belt. Jonathan Kuminga is nearly three years younger than him and has two seasons already logged. He is also not quite as athletic as other wings, not possessing the quickness or verticality to really blow anyone away. However, he has the finesse and skill that when combined with his size, can make him difficult to defend. He also isn’t the shot creator that his brother was at Iowa, preferring more opportunities off the ball whereas Keegan was the driving force on offense in their sophomore outing.

Verdict: Absolutely worth the hype

Only one or two players will be available with the Warriors’ selection that will be able to come out and help them win from day one. Kris Murray is one of those players. His presence on the team would not only help in winning games next season, but perhaps further the rivalry between the Warriors and Kings. Watching those two California teams face off in the postseason was one of the best parts of the postseason, and adding a sibling rivalry would only add fuel to the flames.

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Drafting Kris Murray makes all too much sense for the Golden State Warriors. His abilities help this team, and his style of play fits the system almost perfectly. Passing on the junior from Iowa would be a mistake for new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr.