Blazers draft Kris Murray: Instant analysis, scouting report, fit, grade

Kris Murray, Iowa Hawkeyes (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Kris Murray, Iowa Hawkeyes (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

After a long wait that felt far, far longer than it really was, Scoot Henderson is heading to Rip City as the No. 3 overall pick in perhaps the most important Portland Trail Blazers draft choice in franchise history.

Joining him will be Iowa forward Kris Murray, who the Blazers selected at pick No. 23.

It’s important to note that none of what happens tonight is official until opening night on Oct. 24. There may be, and likely are, more moves to come from general manager Joe Cronin.

Kris Murray scouting report

Murray, the younger brother of Sacramento Kings’ forward Keegan Murray, is an NBA-ready prospect at 22 years old who will help fill one of the Blazers most significant needs as a two-way wing.

He averaged 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds in a tough and rugged Big 10 Conference, and as a bonus, he blocked 1.2 shots per game – a high number for a wing player.

He hit 33.5 percent of his nearly 7 threes per game in 2022-23, although he shot 38.7 percent from deep the prior season on fewer attempts, which is more in line with what he should expect in Portland.

How does Kris Murray fit with the Trail Blazers?

At 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot wingspan, a high basketball IQ, a willingness to play a role and some upside as a legitimate three-and-D wing, Murray fits what Portland is looking for right now. He’s an older prospect who can contribute right away and will provide some toughness and shooting at a position at which the Blazers desperately need help.

Depending on what Portland does the rest of the offseason, specifically with Matisse Thybulle and Cam Reddish, Murray could see significant playing time next to Jerami Grant if the Blazers are able to bring him back.

Murray is, right now, the most complete all-around wing Portland has with his size, shooting, and defensive ability.

Grade: B/B+

Next. How could the Blazers selection of Scoot Henderson impact Damian Lillard's future?. dark

The Blazers will be on the clock next in the second round with the No. 43 pick.