The Sacramento Kings made Keegan Murray the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, the highest a Hawkeyes basketball player has ever been taken.
“It’s just special for me. I grew up 20 minutes from campus,” Murray told ABC after leaving the stage. “It’s just a dream come true. For me, it’s about leading the future of the Iowa program. I think this is the first step in doing that.”
Along with making history with the high selection, he’ll earn at least $16 million in his first contract with the potential for much more.
Murray entered the draft in March after a sophomore season in which he was the Big Ten scoring leader, consensus All-American and unanimous pick to The Associated Press All-Big Ten team.
Murray helped lead the Hawkeyes to a 26-10 record and Big Ten Tournament championship, earning tourney MVP honors.
His average of 23.5 points per game was best among players from Power 5 schools. He scored at least 20 points in 26 games.
CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish gave the Kings a B for the pick, calling Murray “tremendous.”
Yahoo’s Tom Dierberger graded the pick lower (B-) but delivered higher praise: “Murray will fit in perfectly with the current construction of the Kings. He represents just about everything that the Kings entered the offseason needing most: Defense, length, rebounding and outside shooting.”
Murray had his own analysis for the Kings: “They’re getting a winner, first and foremost.”
The first chance to see Murray in action as a King will likely be the California Classic at Chase Center in San Francisco on July 2 & 3. The Kings, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat will compete in four games over the two-day event that “showcases rookies selected in the 2022 NBA Draft, along with sophomores, select free agents and other players competing to make NBA and NBA G League regular season rosters.”