There’s no way that the 76ers are thinking about selecting Jamal Murray with the first overall pick, right?
Marc Eversley, the team’s vice president of player personnel, gives the impression that Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram aren't the lone prospects being eyed for that spot. On Thursday, he said:
“Jamal Murray, we certainly got a chance to see him a couple of weeks ago. He’s certainly going to be one of those kids who’s going to be in contention for the No. 1 pick.
“We like him a lot. He’s going to bring a lot to wherever he goes in the NBA, certainly a talent.”
The 6-foot-4 combo guard is often praised for his shooting, ballhandling, and ability to create shots off the dribble. The former Orangeville Prep (Canada) standout was the MVP of the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, which featured the top American high school players against an international team. He finished with 30 points and five assists in the World Team's two-point victory.
Then, despite being the second-youngest player in the Pan Am field, he averaged 16 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists for the Canadians. At Kentucky, he averaged 20 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists and was a third-team all-American.
Murray became the first Kentucky freshman to score at least 30 points three times. His 35-point outing tied Terrence Jones (2011) for the most points by a Wildcats freshman.
Some within the Sixers organization believe that he has the biggest upside of any of the draft prospects. However, NBA insiders think it would be a reach to draft anyone outside of Simmons or Ingram first overall.
The Sixers could, however, try to acquire the third overall pick from the Boston Celtics and select Murray with that pick.
Maybe the team is talking him up as potential first overall pick to justify moving one of its cornerstones via a trade to acquire Murray. The Sixers then could tell fans that, hey, we just drafted Simmons first and Murray third – two guys we considered for the first overall pick.
That’s just a thought.