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Murphy III fits many obvious Warriors needs in NBA draft

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Trey Murphy III

The Warriors have completed their predraft workout sessions, but not before they got a second look at several players likely to be selected in the top half of the first round.

Trey Murphy III is one of those players, and it’s easy to understand why.

First of all, Murphy spent his junior season at Virginia, which is becoming known for cultivating players that can contribute relatively quickly at the NBA level.

Second, he’s a natural wing standing 6-foot-9 in shoes, with a 7-foot-1 wingspan.

Third, he has the skills and versatility to play either forward position and also fill in at guard in a pinch.

Four, his character is impeccable, his intellect elite.

Five, he is a rangy lob threat who happens to be among the best spot-up shooters in the draft.

In short, Murphy has the length, athleticism and shooting stroke sought by every general manager in the NBA.

Murphy, who turned 21 last month, is a late bloomer, growing nine inches since his sophomore year at Cary (N.C.) Academy High School. Transferring from Rice after two seasons, he averaged 11.3 points per game last season but produced those numbers on only 7.6 field goal attempts in Virginia’s famously deliberate offensive system.

While numbers explain why Murphy is considered a bit of a sleeper in this draft, he attracted enough attention at the combine with his ability to play both ends that he began moving from the low end of the first round toward the lottery.

Upon closer inspection, NBA personnel types no doubt noted that Murphy III, is the only player in Division I to post the holy 50-40-90 shooting season.

 

To be sure, video study reveals a player who still seems to be adjusting to his relatively new height yet can dominate in spurts without being a ball stopper. Though his defense is not elite, it’s solid enough that he holds his own in one of the most defense-minded programs in the country.

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Areas of concern include rebounding, which does not seem to have been a priority despite his length and 38-inch vertical leap. He’s not a creator, and he wouldn’t have to if he were to be selected by the Warriors.

He’ll probably need to get stronger, but his frame can easily carry another 15-20 pounds.

Rumor has it that the Warriors have a pretty expansive weight room.

Trey Murphy III Profile

Position: Forward

Class: Junior

Birthdate: June 18, 2000

Hometown: Durham, N.C. 

2020-21 season averages: 11.3 points (50.3 percent FG, 43.3 percent 3-point, 92.7 percent FT), 3.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists.

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 210

Wingspan: 7 feet 

NBA comps: Cam Johnson, Patrick Williams, Robert Covington

What they’re saying: “You know he can stretch the defense with his shooting, and he’s a multiple position player, can guard different positions and even offensively can do stuff.” – Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett, to reporters after Murphy scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including three triples in a win over William & Mary