There is a lot to like about Virginia's Trey Murphy III as an NBA Draft prospect, especially as it pertains to the Wizards, who are selecting 15th overall in the first round. So, it's no surprise they are showing continued interest in the small forward, first with an interview at the combine and this past week by hosting him in Washington for a predraft workout.
Murphy III, 21, plays small forward, the Wizards' biggest position of need. And he can both defend and shoot from the perimeter, the Wizards' two most important areas to address this offseason. Read more on Murphy here.
Murphy III himself likes the 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 III said.
Murphy III, who transferred to Virginia from Rice before last season, averaged 11.3 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 50.3% from the field, 43.3% from three (on 4.8 3PA/g) and 92.7% from the free throw line. He followed that up with a standout performance at the NBA Draft Combine, measuring in at over 6-foot-9, taller than his listed height, with a 7-foot wingspan and a 38-inch vertical leap.
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Murphy III was productive in college, efficient, has the measurables to suggest high upside and he conducts himself well in interviews; serious about his craft and insightful. He shared some of the feedback he got from Wizards' brass and it sounds like he made a strong impression.
"They were saying I was doing a really good job defending and hitting shots, setting up my driving lanes. Because I shoot the ball so well, I'm able to get people to jump at me and then I'm able to create rotations and finish at the rim and make good decisions. They were really impressed with that part as well as my ball-handling. They said that I handled the ball a lot better than I expected, so that's always a good thing," Murphy III said.
Murphy III sees himself as a player who can guard one through four at the NBA level, but believes he will need to get stronger to realize his full potential against NBA athletes. Defensive versatility is something Murphy III is trying to convey in his workouts, but he's also taken some advice from his parents and agent that does not involve basketball, which he believes has helped throughout the predraft process.
"Just be yourself and really show your personality and your character to these people because at the end of the day, they're just trying to get to know you. The basketball piece is important, but you want to make sure they're investing in a good human being as well," Murphy III said.
If Murphy III is available at 15, the Wizards would have good reason to take him, given he fills a variety of their needs and presents considerable potential long-term. But there may be no guarantee he's there, as the Warriors pick one spot ahead of Washington at 14th and they have a second predraft workout scheduled with him before draft day on Thursday.