JAMAL MURRAY, SMALL / SHOOTING GUARD, KENTUCKY
Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky – First Team All SEC, SEC All Freshman Team, 3rd Team All- American. Murray averaged 20 points per game, 5.2 rebs per game, 2.2 assist per game.
Murray is the classic definition of a true shooting guard. The Canadian-born Murray showed last year at Kentucky that he could put the ball in the bucket.
Murray is a 41% shooter from 3-point range and a 78% FT shooter. Murray at 6-foot-3 lacks the desired size for a shooting guard, but he has a quick release.
The Pelicans struggles in the half court have been well publicized. When teams collapse on ‘The Brow’ Anthony Davis in the paint, the Pelicans have to counter with an outside threat. Murray can keep those collapsing defenses off AD and make them more honest.
As a rookie, Murray would provide the Pelicans with some much-needed scoring punch. His ball handling is very good, but his value is in his shot making and scoring.
The type of offense Gentry runs would suit Murray well, and open up more opportunities for AD to flourish.Murray is equally adept at hitting knock down shots or coming off screens.
Murray isn’t as adept as a passer he average a little over 2 assist a game, and he struggles with defense. Murray is primarily a scorer, the other parts of his game like passing and defense will have to grow and be developed by Gentry and the coaching staff.
Murray and current Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday are of similar stature, and on defense that would pose a problem. Murray at this point in his career is one dimensional. If his shot isn’t falling how can he help you with the other aspects of his game?
Yes Murray can put the ball in the basket but can he help you win, when the his shot isn’t falling? Can he develop into a primary ball handler or combo guard? So far he hasn’t shown it.
His limited athleticism shown thus far increases doubt about his play-making and being able to create for others.
Simply put: Murray is a scorer and a very good one. But for the Pelicans, he’s essentially Option C at #6, if options A and B (Buddy Hield and Kris Dunn) are already gone.
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