Report: Kings Believe Keegan Murray Will Be Better Than Jazz Star Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen, Keegan Murray, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, NBA rumors
NBA Analysis Network

According to NBA insider James Ham, the Sacramento Kings believe Keegan Murray will be better than Utah Jazz star Lauri Markkanen.

Ham, who covers the Kings, talked about Murray with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

“They view him as a star,” Ham said. “I’ve had conversations within the walls. I asked the question, would you trade him for Lauri Markkanen last season? The answer was, ‘No. We believe he’ll be better than Markkanen.’ So that should tell you everything that you need to know about what they feel about him as a player.”

Murray is one of the top young players in the NBA. He’s averaging 15.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks this season while shooting 46.0% from the field, 37.0% from beyond the arc and 82.5% from the free-throw line.

Markkanen made his first All-Star team last season. He also won the Most Improved Player of the Year Award. The 26-year-old is averaging 23.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.7 blocks this season while shooting 48.9% from the field, 38.6% from 3 and 85.5% from the foul line.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Keegan Murray, Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings Updates

Murray, Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox are untouchable in Kings trade talks. Sacramento is 22-14 on the season, good for fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Kings drafted Murray with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft out of Iowa. The guard made 206 3-pointers last season as a rookie and helped Sacramento make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Murray, 23, has career averages of 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks with the Kings while shooting 45.5% overall, 39.9% from 3 and 79.0% from the foul line. The sharpshooter scored a career-high 47 points in December against the Jazz while going 12-of-15 from 3-point land.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Keegan Murray, Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings Updates

Murray is making $8.4 million this season. He signed a four-year, $36.4 million rookie scale contract with Sacramento.

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