Kings' Keegan Murray sees no love in ESPN's 2022-23 NBA award predictions

·2 min read

Where Kings rookie Murray ranks in ESPN's ROY award predictions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Despite winning Las Vegas Summer League MVP, it appears that Kings draft pick Keegan Murray has some doubters regarding his ability to win Rookie of the Year during the 2022-23 NBA season.

Per ESPN's insiders, Murray, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, received only 18 points (11.1 percent of the first-place votes), which places him fourth. Meanwhile, Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick, is first with 60 points, nabbing 50 percent of the first-place votes.

Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Chet Holmgren's 43 points (16.7 percent) and the Detroit Pistons' Jaden Ivey's 20 points (5.6 percent) round out the top four at second and third place, respectively.

For comparison, Murray thoroughly outplayed the three players ahead of him in the predictions during summer league, albeit it is a small sample size.

Considering Murray will be a focal point of the Kings' offense, it's not outside the realm of possibility to see him feasibly be more productive than any of the aforementioned players.

What's more, the Kings are expected to win only 34 games this season per ESPN's insiders, despite a bevy of savvy offseason moves including signing Malik Monk and trading for Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter Kevin Huerter.

Last season, the Kings got off to a disappointing start, traded emerging guard Tyrese Haliburton and made a midseason coaching change en route to a 30-win season.

Now that head coach Mike Brown has a full offseason to integrate two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis with De'Aaron Fox and the rest of the newcomers, the Kings are a team to watch out for.

That said, even with a tougher start to the schedule than expected, the Kings should be in prime position to nab a Play-In tournament spot, at the least, with the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz seemingly headed for a rebuild.

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With the NBA season kicking off in about two months, this should provide enough fuel for the Kings to prove all the naysayers wrong once the regular season starts.