Keegan Murray 'always wanted' to join Kings after pre-NBA Draft meetings
Why Murray 'always wanted' to join Kings after draft meetings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Programming note: Watch Keegan Murray’s “Kings Central” interview with Kyle Draper on Monday on NBC Sports California, at 6 p.m. PT and again at 10 p.m., after the game.
With the fourth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select …
Sacramento, which hasn’t had the best draft record in the past, had a tough decision to make with the No. 4 overall pick to bring in a piece who can help snap an NBA-record 16-year playoff drought.
While Kings fans and NBA Twitter had their predictions and opinions on who they believed would be heading to Sactown, with Keegan Murray and Jaden Ivey headlining those options, it really was up in the air and as we know, anything could happen.
And the player that the Kings opted to go with found out when the rest of the world did.
“I knew I had a good relationship with [the Kings] just from all the pre-draft stuff. And I wanted to come here,” Murray told NBC Sports California’s Kyle Draper on “Kings Central.” “I really didn’t find out until I was at the green table and the cameras came up to me, that’s when I figured out.
“So I figured out when everyone else figured it out. I’m not really big on social media so I wasn’t really reading the mock drafts or anything like that, so I had no clue.”
The Iowa product met with the Kings over the summer and despite having a series of unfortunate events happen, had a good feeling about the relationship he developed with them.
Surprisingly, though, the 6-foot-8 forward never actually worked out during his visit to the 916.
“My flight to Sacramento got canceled twice,” Murray explained to Draper. “So I ended up showing up late. I had to fly to San Francisco and I was supposed to leave the next morning so [we] had dinner, I met with [Domantas Sabonis] and [De’Aaron] Fox during my short time there.
"So I knew I built a good relationship with them and I wanted to come here.”
Sabonis and Fox were enjoying the summer and the offseason. But as team leaders, they took the time to fly back to Sacramento to meet with the young forward.
The two team leaders taking the time to speak to Murray was something that stuck with him.
"I knew both of them were busy," Murray said. "They’re both in different cities, working out, training, especially in the offseason, they could’ve been anywhere. So I'm grateful for them and I’m grateful for what they’ve done for me so far. They’ve been two guys that kind of took me under their wing."
He's learned a lot from the two, and his other Kings teammates, since hearing his name called in the draft.
The 22-year-old already has been elevated into a starting role, now playing alongside Fox and Sabonis, and has shown glimpses of exactly why Sacramento selected him.
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His start to the season has been filled with ups and downs, but his ceiling has no limits.
As the Kings have surprised the rest of the league so far this year, it's no surprise how happy Murray is to be in Sacramento. And the feeling is mutual.