With just two days to go before the 2021 NBA Draft, former Virginia forward Trey Murphy III could find himself on an NBA team much earlier than expected.
Murphy has risen into the first-round discussion thanks to his elite size and shooting ability as a 3-and-D prospect, but he might be able to go as early as the late lottery, per ESPN's Mike Schmitz.
"Trey Murphy is maybe the biggest riser," Schmitz said. "This is a guy that most people had undrafted coming into the season. I mean, he transferred from Rice. He was 6'5-6'6, skinny coming out of high school, didn't have a lot of offers. Now he's 6'9, seven-foot wingspan, shot over 40% from three this past season.
"[Murphy] reminds me a little bit of when Cam Johnson had that rise out of North Carolina, ends up going in the lottery a few years ago. We've seen the success that he had with the Suns. So definitely Trey Murphy, you hear him in that late lottery range."
After two strong seasons at Rice, Murphy transferred to Virginia for his junior year and produced at a high level for Tony Bennett's program. He averaged over 11 points and three rebounds while shooting 50.3% from the floor, 43% from three and 92.7% from the free-throw line. Read more about Murphy's game here.
The Wizards hold the 15th pick and seemingly sit right in the range where Murphy could go. They have a clear need for a versatile defender like him who can knock down spot-up threes and have already had him in for a predraft workout. Afterward, Murphy explained how he saw himself as a great fit in D.C.
"Really just spacing the floor for the team, being able to create my own shot as well and defending one through four. I feel like a lot of teams could use that. And, giving space for [Russell Westbrook] to create and find me and cutting for the bigs as well would be really helpful for the team. I feel like I could fit in almost anywhere, but definitely with the Wizards as well," Murphy said.
Along with the Wizards, the Grizzlies (10th), Spurs (12th) and Warriors (14th) are all teams in the late lottery who could use help on the wings.