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In what has been on one, if not the biggest pleasant surprise this offseason, is the rise of former Tennessee Tech standout Kevin Murphy on NBA draft boards. With the NBA Draft happening tonight, I figured I’d look at 5 possible spots that Murphy might hear his name called.

Much like my initial impression, most of you who voted in yesterday’s poll agree that Murphy is likely to end up in the 40-50 range, but with his stock rising over the past few months, could he sneak into the first round?

30 (or 35) to Golden State

It’s possible, but unlikely. But that final first round pick is somewhat intriguing. Golden State picks 30th, and 35th, and a few experts have suggested that the Warriors could be the ones to pick up Murphy at 35. (See Draftek’s mock draft, for one) Here’s the thing: The Cavs have two straight picks right above them, which means one of two things:

  • They’ll make a “risky” pick with one of those selections, which could be a player like Murphy
  • They’ll trade one of those picks to someone looking to move up, which could be for Murphy, knowing Golden State could take him off the board at 35.

Option 2 seems more likely, as I’m not sure is a player like Murphy is what Cleveland needs.

While most people don’t think, or at least aren’t sure, that Murphy is a first round guy, but with his stock draft rising, someone could try to jump up to get him. Which is why, although unlikely, Golden State could pull the trigger at 30, knowing they have another pick just 5 later.

34/35 to ??? (via Cleveland Trade)

Just read the last section again. I just kind of gave that one away, no?

37 to Toronto

Toronto finished 27th in scoring last season, so they’re definitely a team that will looking to revitalize their offense. And it’s not just a pacing issue, (read: New Orleans) they didn’t shoot the basketball well. A shooter like Murphy would likely fit in well to this young team.

But honestly, I’m kind of rooting against this pick. Because without NBA league pass, most of us will never see Murphy play in Toronto. Because really, when was the last time an ESPN game featured the Raptors? Anyone?

39 (or 44) to Detroit

26th in scoring last year. Same argument, different team.

40/41 to Portland

Much like the situation I mentioned above with Cleveland, Portland will be in a similar situation at 40, and if Murphy is still on the board, there’s a good chance Portland could take him with one of their back-to-back picks.

 

At this point, I feel like I should explain, somewhat, why Murphy is a “risky” pick. Yes, he can shoot, but he’s risky because you don’t know if he’s going to develop a complete game, or just stay a shooter. And much like a baseball pitcher, pure shooters can be streaky, meaning it’s rare if you find a shooter that can be a solid contributor night in and night out.

And then there’s the OVC factor. Guess what: not many people hold the OVC in high regard as say…at least 20 other conference in NCAA basketball. And in the back of many minds, there’s always “he just played in the OVC.”

So while he’s more than worthy of the NBA, he’s not the safest bet. At least, not yet.

Once you get past Portland, he could honestly go just about anywhere.

I’ll have live coverage of the NBA draft tonight on Twitter @OVCBall


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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