He's aggressive like Russell Westbrook and can shoot like Steph Curry, but will Jamal Murray live up to the hype?
Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray is projected to get picked No. 6 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans in several mock drafts but could possibly get picked up earlier by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the No. 5 overall pick, according to Wildcats coach John Calipari via ESPN.com.
Murray has the great potential to be an NBA star, however is the 19 year old guard "ready" mentally for the big stage. Is he reliable and able to create plays at the NBA level? These are questions that Murray will have to answer through proof of decision to go to the NBA.
As a freshman, the 6-foot-4 guard averaged 20 points per game, the most by any freshman in the UK basketball program history, and that's quite an accomplishment in its own right, around five rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers per game. He shot 43 percent from the field and, might I add, broke just a few records.
Murray is aggressive, has a competitive spirit and will go the extra mile defensively even though he's not as quick or strong as others may be. He's not fleet-footed as a point guard, which makes it hard for him to pass or get through screens.
Offensively, the guard is versatile. He is willing to attack the basket and will pop and shoot at any moment. He's considered a shoot first, pass later player. His signature shot is the floater. Murray is great in the transition and majority of his assists come from this. He's not afraid to go down the court in transition and become that passer. However, he doesn't have that mentality to view the floor to get the best shot. Murray is capable as a passer but he'd rather shoot first.
Another strength of his is that he's a dual-handed shooter, meaning he is able to shoot and pass with both the left and right hands. With his 3-point shooting, Murray could be a "Little Steph," so to speak. He's willing to let it rip from deep, and he's comfortable with pull-up jumpers but the attacking part of his game can be brought to a halt, so the outside shooting can be something he relies.
If he does, he has to work on separation from the opponent without fouling.
He has all the potential to be a star in the NBA. With the right team and the right coaching, Jamal Murray will make it. Is he ready? That is the question that we are looking to answer. Joining the Minnesota Timberwolves would be good for him because of the organization rebuild. He can do great things and learn there along side former Kentucky Wildcat Karl Anthony-Towns.
What comes next? Well, time will tell.