Ex-Iowa basketball star, Sacramento Kings rookie Keegan Murray wins NBA Summer League MVP

Less than a month after being selected No. 4 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, Sacramento Kings rookie Keegan Murray has his first NBA accolade. The former Iowa standout was named the MVP of the 2022 NBA Summer League. 

Murray averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three-point range in four games in Las Vegas. In seven combined games between the California Classic and Las Vegas League, he averaged 21 points per game and only scored less than 20 points once. 

Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair made it clear post-draft that Murray was the unanimous top priority on their draft board and so far, it's paying off. 

"After sitting in the room with with my front office staff, coaching staff, scouting department, our analytics department, it became unanimous that Keegan Murray was the best player available and we jumped at the chance to select him," McNair said to reporters after the draft. 

More:Could Sacramento Kings draft pick Keegan Murray become Iowa's best NBA player in 50 years?

In his last college season at Iowa, Murray was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy. He ended the 2021-22 season as the nation's leader in points (822) and fourth nationally in points per game (23.6), and that number is the highest among power conference players. Overall, he averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55% from the field and 39.8% from the 3-point line. 

He also lead the nation with 8.7 win shares, a metric that estimates the number of wins a player produces for his team throughout the season. He also lead the country with a plus-15.7 plus/minus, meaning Iowa was 15.7 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor than with average production from another player. 

Now Murray will turn his attention to his rookie season with the Kings. The plan is to pair him with franchise players De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis and end the Kings' 16-year playoff drought. 

More:The Sacramento Kings officially introduced Keegan Murray on Saturday. Here's what he said.

"I think my versatility plays a factor playing alongside both (Fox and Sabonis)," Murray said. "Being able to cut to the basket and also read what Sabonis is doing in the post, things like that. That obviously takes time with developing chemistry but I feel like I'm just excited to be able to play off on Fox, a dynamic point guard.

"He's a guy that you can create his own shot and create for other guys. So for my ability to catch and shoot threes, play on the perimeter, things like that will expand both of their games even more." 

Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at ksmith@gannett.com.