NBA Draft: Does Jamal Murray Fit With The Sixers?

Mar 17, 2016; Des Moines, IA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Jamal Murray (23) dribbles against the Stony Brook Seawolves in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2016; Des Moines, IA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Jamal Murray (23) dribbles against the Stony Brook Seawolves in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

Leading up to the draft, the Sixers have been interested in acquiring another lottery pick, Would Jamal Murray be a fit if they move back into the lottery?

As the 2016 NBA Draft is hours away, the rumors and trade-talks surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers are beginning to intensify. Let’s take a look at Jamal Murray, a guard from the University of Kentucky, who the Sixers could select if they land another lottery pick.

Age: 19

Measurements: 6-foot-4.25-inches (in shoes), 207 pounds, 6-foot-6.5-inch wingspan.

Stats: 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game, shot 45.4 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three-point range.


Murray might not only be one of the top guards of the draft, but he quite possibly could be the best pure scorer in this draft class. In his lone season as a freshman at Kentucky, he shot 40.8 percent from three-point range, while averaging 20 points per game.

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One thing that really sticks out about Murray’s game is the way he moves with the ball at such a young age. Moving without the ball is essential to success in the NBA, and at 19 years old it was pretty impressive how he was able to navigate through defenses.

According to, 89.4 percent of Murray’s threes were assisted, which attests to his ability to find an open spot on the three-point line and knock down jumpers without hesitation.

In addition, not only can Murray be effective without the ball in his hands, he’s also creative off-the-dribble and off pick-and-rolls. 13.6 percent of his 2-point-jumpers were assisted, according to

While Murray’s athleticism may hold him back at times, he did display the ability to get to the basket at Kentucky, especially off the pick-and-roll and when he has momentum. With a nice touch and floater around the rim, according to, he shot 65.5 percent around the rim with 27.8 percent of those being assisted.

Murray’s vision will also come in handy at the next level. Although he is a score-first type of a guard, he will on occasion hit the open teammate, and at 19 this will most likely only improve.

Lastly, Murray possesses the intangibles not many prospects at his age display. He’s described as a “gym rat” and a “hard-worker” and the right  fit could lead him to have success in the NBA.


While Murray is very talented on the offensive end of the ball, it’s on defense where his athleticism is an evident issue.

Murray measured in with a 6-foot-6.5-inch wingspan, which could present a problem defending wing players at the NBA level. Also, at 6-foot-4.25-inches, he may be undersized at guarding the two-guard in the NBA. It may limit him to only guarding one position at the next level.

In college, Murray struggled with quicker guards laterally and allowed penetration to the basket. He also had a hard time defending players that were bigger and overpowered him off the dribble.

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Considering Murray’s age and his motor he might be able to improve on this at the next level, however, teams will game plan against him and use to their advantage until he does so.

Like I stated above, Murray’s ability to score is his strength but his low shooting release could really haunt him in the NBA. He’s already a bit undersized at his position, and if he can’t create enough space, the long defenders he’ll face in the NBA will make life difficult for him.

Another aspect of Murray’s offensive game that needs to improve are his turnovers. We see this constantly with young guards in the NBA.

A few years back, Michael Carter-Williams turned the ball over constantly in a Sixers uniform.

It’s a guaranteed growing process each point guard goes through, and it’s very unlikely that a team acquires a young guard that doesn’t have problems turning over the ball.

Although he did have five more turnovers than assists last season, it’s something that his work ethic could be able to overcome in the NBA.

Like Bryan Colangelo told Howard Eskin in an interview on 94 WIP in May, once they draft player, that player will have way more time to work on their weaknesses as pro than they did in college.

Colangelo gave the example of if they select Ben Simmons, he’ll work on his shooting, whereas if they select Brandon Ingram, he’ll be in the weight room adding mass.

And the same can be said about Murray’s defensive skills, at the next level, it will be his main focus to improve his lateral quickness against quicker guards.

Fit with the Sixers:

If the Sixers somehow acquire another lottery pick via trade and land Murray, he would be inserted into the starting lineup with Simmons and hopefully Joel Embiid.

Out of the three guard prospects, Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield and Murray, Murray is the best fit because of his talented offensive skill set.

In transition, Murray would excel alongside Simmons leading the break. He’s great when he steps into his shot and would have tons of opportunity with Simmons as a distributor.

While his defense might be why he doesn’t gauge interest from the Sixers because Brett Brown sees it as such a priority, it might be masked by his surrounding players.

Also, with the ball in his hands, Murray’s ability to create his shot and slash off the pick-and-roll with Nerlens Noel or possibly Embiid could be a deadly element to the Sixers’ offense.

With that being said, Murray would provide the Sixers with instant offense and bring a young exciting talent to their backcourt.

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But it will be up to Colangelo to acquire another lottery pick for Murray to play in Sixers blue this upcoming season.