Where will Keegan Murray be picked in the NBA Draft? Tune in tonight.

Iowa will have its first-ever lottery pick when Murray’s name is called in Brooklyn tonight, and perhaps the all-time highest-drafted player

If you’ve read an NBA mock draft for the past few weeks, you haven’t learned anything about how it’s going to go. Some of this week’s headlines:

From 247Sports: NBA Mock Draft: Iowa’s Keegan Murray goes to Sacramento for 4th pick

From the Detroit Free Press: Why Keegan Murray is the Likeliest Pick for the Detroit Pistons in the 2022 NBA Draft

From SB Nation: NBA Mock Draft: Pacers select Keegan Murray

everything ok What we do know is that Iowa All-America forward Murray of Cedar Rapids will be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. CT tonight. He seems like a safe bet when called onto the stage by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver before 8 a.m. The selection is made every five minutes.

Murray will be Iowa’s first lottery pick (top 14 pick) since the league’s draft lottery was formed in 1985, will almost certainly be Iowa’s first top 10 pick since 1980, and could be the highest-drafted Hawkeye of all time . Fred Brown finished sixth in 1971.

But where does Murray go? The consensus is that the top three picks will be Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero, although not necessarily in that order. Then?

Many have ranked Murray 4th to the Sacramento Kings. Many say the Detroit Pistons will take him 5th. A smaller number of mock drafters took him to the Indiana Pacers at number six. I’m not ruling anything out.

Sportsbooks that take bets on such matters give Purdue guard Jaden Ivey a nod to Murray in 4th place and Murray the most likely pick in 5th place. Which also doesn’t affect what will actually happen.

Here’s a look at Murray’s top three likely landing spots, recognizing that a late trade could turn things upside down:

#4: Sacramento Kings

It seems the kings’ choice – should they not swap choices – is between Murray and Ivey.

Murray flew to Sacramento last week to meet with the Kings organization. He reportedly had dinner with Top Kings players De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

Though the Kings were 30-52 last season, they don’t see themselves far from positioning themselves for a 2023 playoff berth and feel pressured to do so soon. You would too if you hadn’t been in the playoffs since 2006.

Perhaps Sacramento likes the idea of ​​Murray (who turns 22 in October) coming in and in need of less immediate development than 20-year-old Purdue guard Jaden Ivey or, say, 19-year-old Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe.

At 21 years and 10 months, Murray would be the oldest player to be included in the top 10 since at least 2005.

An interesting sidelight is whether the Kings will trade forward Harrison Barnes, the last lottery pick from Iowa State. Barnes from Ames was number 7 in 2012.

#5: Detroit Pistons

Detroit’s top scorer last season was Jerami Grant, who shares the same position as Murray. The Associated Press reported Wednesday night that the Pistons reached an agreement to sell nine-year veteran Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Grant is 28, significantly older than Detroit’s other key players, point guard Cade Cunningham, forward Saddiq Bey and center Isaiah Stewart. The Pistons were 23-59 last season. They are doing a slow build up and are now taking clumps. They can be significant players in the free agent market.

Murray could end up being part of something good developing there. Based on how he played as a rookie, 2022’s No. 1 Cunningham certainly looks like a franchise player.

If Murray goes to Detroit, here’s a lot to do about his reunion with Luka Garza, a second-round pick in 2021. The Pistons have until next Tuesday to exercise their option on Garza for the 2022-23 season.

#6: Indiana Pacers

Indiana plummeted 25-57 in the Eastern Conference last season. Murray was in Indianapolis to meet with the Pacers.

Indiana has a need for frontcourt talent, especially after Sabonis was sent to Sacramento last season in a trade that landed them former Iowa state guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton immediately became a fan favorite in Indy. averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 assists in 26 games with the Pacers.

Somewhere else?

Draft night trades happen and change the fortunes of teams. Current NBA stars whose rights were traded on draft night include Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic and Trae Young.

The thing that Iowa fans and Murray himself should remember is that the team that draws him wants him. There will have been other good options, but he’s definitely her best.

Comments: (319) 398-8440; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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