Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray
24-Year-Old GuardG
Denver Nuggets
Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 3/2/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Murray suffered a torn ACL in April of last season, putting his status for the 2021-22 campaign in jeopardy. ACL recoveries can take anywhere from nine months to over a year, so it's not quite clear if Murray will end up with any fantasy relevancy at all. Optimistic fantasy managers can select Murray with the hope that he'll return as soon as January, though that would probably depend on how many Injured Reserve spots are allowed. The 24-year-old is coming off the best season of his career. He ranked 31st in per-game fantasy production behind 21.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals. It seems unlikely he'll be able to make strides coming off the knee injury, so a best-case scenario is probably Murray putting up comparable numbers, though a dip should be the general expectation. Make sure to keep up with news of his recovery up until your draft day to see when he's projected to return. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $169.65 million contract extension with the Nuggets in July of 2019.
Personal Bio

Murray was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1997. He is the son of Sylvia and Roger Murray and has one brother, Lamar. Murray attended Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, later transferring to Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, where his father was an assistant coach and he was teammates with fellow NBA player Thon Maker. Murray meditates before every basketball game and has frequently competed for Team Canada in international play. Follow the guard on Twitter (@BeMore27) and Instagram (@jmglitxh27).

College/International Summary

Murray collected 2015-16 All-Southeast Conference First-Team honors and was named to the 15-16 SEC All-Freshman squad. The Ontario, Canada native was also named to the 2016 All-SEC Tournament First Team as Kentucky won the SEC Tournament. The guard also led the Wildcats to the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. In his only collegiate season, Murray led the SEC in field goals (244), field-goal attempts (538) three-point field goals (113), and three-point field-goal attempts (277). In addition, he was second in points (720) and third in the SEC in both three-point field-goal percentage (.408) and points per game (20). Murray announced that he would enter the 2016 NBA Draft after his freshman year at Kentucky. He was taken in the first round (seventh overall) in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.

Progressing in rehab
GDenver Nuggets
Knee
September 23, 2021
Murray (knee) is progressing in his rehab from a torn ACL but remains without a timetable, David Aldridge of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
It's been roughly five months since Murray underwent surgery, and while he's still a ways away from returning to game action, Aldridge notes that the Nuggets are "very happy with Murray's progress and rehab." Given Murray's age and work ethic, it would not be a surprise if he's ahead of schedule, though it remains to be seen if he'll return early enough in the season to make any sort of fantasy impact. For now, Murray is probably only worth a late-round flier in leagues that include multiple IR spots.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Murray played in 48 games during his fifth season in the NBA. The 24-year-old tallied a career-high 21.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.3 blocks in 35.5 minutes per game. On the season, the Kentucky product shot 47.7 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three -- both career-highs. The 2016 seventh-overall pick scored 20-plus points 30 times and 30-plus points nine times, including a season-high 50 on Feb. 19. During the contest, Murray went 21-for-25 from the field and 8-for-10 from downtown. He also tallied six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 38 minutes during the 120-103 win over the Cavaliers. The six-foot-three guard grabbed five-plus rebounds 20 times, including a season-high nine on two occasions. The ex-Wildcat also dished out five-plus assists 23 times, including a season-high 11 during a 113-108 win over the Pelicans on March 26. During the season-high 11 assist performance he went 10-for-18 from the field en route to 23 points, marking his first double-double of the season. Defensively, Murray registered multiple steals in 20 games and at least one block in 12 games.

2019

Murray built on his breakout performance the year before with an even stronger 2019-20 campaign. He started for the Nuggets in all 59 of his appearances during the pandemic-shortened season, setting new career bests with averages of 18.5 points and 1.1 steals per game, as well as a 45.6 field-goal percentage. Murray rounded out his stat line with 4.8 assists (matching the career mark he set in 2018-19) and 4.0 rebounds per game, in addition to a typically-sharp 88.1 free-throw percentage. He piled up 20-plus points on 25 separate occasions, including six games with 30-plus points. On Nov. 17, Murray scored a season-high 39 points -- including a season-high seven threes -- to go with eight assists, four boards, three steals and a block against Memphis. He dropped 39 again on Jan. 4 against Washington, shooting 13-of-19 from the field and 10-for-10 from the line in the process. After missing the latter half of January with an ankle injury, Murray returned on fire. He scored 20 points in 19:55 in his first game back, Feb. 5 against Utah, and went on to average 31.3 points across the next four games. In another contest with the Jazz, Aug. 8 in the NBA's Orlando bubble, Murray set a new career high with 12 rebounds alongside 23 points and eight assists. But the Kentucky product elevated his game to an entirely new level come playoff time. Facing the Jazz once again, he blew up for 50 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in Game 4 of the first round. Murray went on to score 42 points in Game 5, then 50 again in Game 6. He delivered another 40-point game to help finish off the Clippers in the second round. All in all, Murray averaged 26.5 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from downtown during Denver's 19-game run to the Western Conference Finals.

2018

A 2016 first-rounder (No. 7 overall) out of the University of Kentucky, Murray's numbers have improved in each of his first three NBA seasons. In 2018-19, Murray set career-highs across the board posting 18.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists. On Nov. 5, Murray delivered a career-high 48 points, plus added five rebounds and four assists, during a home win over the Celtics. On Dec. 29, Murray generated 46 points, eight assists and six rebounds during a win at Phoenix. He then took his game to another level in the playoffs. In Denver's 14 postseason contests, Murray averaged 21.3 points per game. Murray poured in 34 points in both Games 3 and 4 of Denver's eventual seven-game Western Conference Semifinals loss to Portland. Murray also upped his per-game rebounding (6) and assist (5.3) totals in the Portland series. All season, Murray was money from the foul line (85 free throw percentage), shot the deep ball well (two made threes per game each of the past two seasons), and was durable. He missed six games in the middle of the season with an ankle injury, but the 6-foot-5 guard has been shelved for a mere eight games total over his first three seasons in the league.

2017

Murray built upon a solid rookie season with a breakthrough sophomore campaign. He started 80 games and averaged 31.7 minutes for a Nuggets squad that nearly qualified for the playoffs. In his second season, Murray upped his per-game averages in scoring (16.7), rebounds (3.7), assists (3.4) and threes (2.0). The ex-Kentucky Wildcat also improved his shooting percentages, registering an efficient 45.1 FG% and 37.8 3P% along with a 57.6 TS%. In addition, the former lottery pick established himself as one of the deadliest free-throw shooters in the NBA, ranking fifth in the league with a 90.5 FT%. His efforts were rewarded with an invitation to play in the league's Rising Stars game during the All-Star break, where Murray impressed with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three treys for Team World. Murray notched his second career double-double Dec. 13, scoring 28 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while collecting four assists and three steals in a loss to Boston. He exploded for a career-high 38 points in a victory over Phoenix on Jan. 22, making 14 of 19 shots from the field and 6 of 6 shots from the free throw line. The 6'4" guard came on strong at the end of the season, notching double-digit scoring efforts in his final 18 contests and averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds over that stretch.

2016

The No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Murray made an immediate impact for the Nuggets. He appeared in all 82 games, making 10 starts and averaging 21.5 minutes per game. The Canadian posted averages of 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.6 steals per contest. Murray made his NBA debut on Oct. 26 against the Pelicans and finished with one point, four rebounds and an assist in 13 minutes. Three games later (Nov. 3), he made his first NBA start in a win over the Timberwolves. Murray scored in double-figures (10 points) for the first time on Nov. 8 against the Grizzlies. Murray broke the 20-point barrier for the first time on Nov. 22 against Chicago, when he finished with 24 points, six rebounds and two assists. Murray would go on to score 23 points the next night in Utah and 20 points on Nov. 25 against the Thunder. He notched a season-high 30 points (10-of-14 FG, 8-of-8 FT), to go with five assists, four rebounds and two steals in an April 7 win over New Orleans. In the regular season finale on April 12, Murray recorded 27 points (10-of-17 FG, 4-of-5 3PT) and six assists in a win over Oklahoma City.

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Murray's regular-season production in 2019-20 was nearly identical to his production the year prior, though he made marginal improvements, notably to his field-goal percentage (45.6) and free-throw percentage (88.1). That was in addition to his 18.5 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals as the Nuggets' clear No. 2 option behind Nikola Jokic. That said, while fantasy managers didn't reap the benefits of it, Murray reached a new level in the postseason. He looked unstoppable at points during the first-round series against the Jazz, averaging 31.6 points, 6.3 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 38.1 minutes. In the playoffs as a whole, the point guard averaged 26.5 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 39.6 minutes. It's possible those series will be a jumping-off point for Murray, who is still just 23 years old. While his assist numbers will likely never match that of a traditional point guard due to the presence of Jokic, it shouldn't surprise fantasy managers if Murray crossed the 20-point-per-game threshold in 2020-21 and did so on similar or improved efficiency. If that's the case, he'll likely be worthy of a third-or-fourth round selection.
Murray managed career-high per-game averages in points (18.2), assists (4.8), rebounds (4.2), blocks (0.4) and minutes (32.6) last season. Moreover, the 22-year-old combo guard took his scoring to another level in the playoffs, posting 21.3 points per game across 14 contests. Denver's offense will almost certainly continue to run through Nikola Jokic. Nevertheless, the sturdy Murray (82, 81 and 75 games played in his first three seasons, respectively) remains the clear second option behind one of the most pass-happy stars in the league, and another leap in year four would elevate his fantasy value toward elite status. In order for that to happen though, Murray may need to improve his field goal percentage (43.7), which fell from 45.1 percent during 2017-18. It's not abnormal for young players to suffer a small regression in efficiency when taking on more responsibility, which is what happened to Murray, whose shot attempts rose from 13.1 to 15.6 per tilt. Furthermore, like most young players, Murray developed a reputation for being somewhat inconsistent, as he was limited to single digits in scoring eight times in 2018-19. Overall, Murray is still arguably one of the better bets to enjoy a breakout campaign and could prove worthy of a fairly high selection on draft day.
After spending most of his rookie year behind Jameer Nelson and Emmanuel Mudiay, Murray started 80 of his 81 games for the Nuggets last season. Seeing just over 10 more minutes per game, the Kentucky product set career highs across the board. While he shouldn't be relied upon for assists (3.4) considering Nikola Jokic’s role in the offense, Murray is progressing into a legitimate scoring threat, recording 27 outings of at least 20 points last season, which includes seven 30-plus efforts. Those performances happen in part due to his knock-down three-point (2.0 per game at 37.8 percent) and free-throw (2.8 per game at 90.5 percent) shooting. Moving forward, consistency will be a step Murray needs to take to improve his Fantasy value, as he scored fewer than 10 points in 18 contests, and averaged 24.4 minutes in those tilts. One thing he has been consistent at, however, is staying on the court. Across his first two campaigns, Murray has missed just one contest. Assuming he stays healthy and improves as expected, the point guard seems primed to turn in a top-50 Fantasy campaign.
Murray was one of the best rookies in the league last season and some believe that he has the highest ceiling of any of the 2016 draftees. While he had a tough first couple months, Murray was actually the only player on the roster to play a full 82-game schedule. He really turned it on the last few months of the season, averaging 12.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.9 blocks across his final 37 games. An underrated asset in Murray's game is his free-throw shooting, as he should be leaned on to finish games with his 88.3 percent clip from the charity stripe from last season. That's a void that needs to be filled too, now that Danilo Gallinari is sporting a Clippers jersey. The fact that Murray is just 20-years-old may be the most exciting part for Denver, as he has the potential to become a better than average scoring point guard. After averaging just 21.0 minutes per game last season, Murray is the odds on favorite to open the season as the team's starting point guard ahead of Emmanuel Mudiay and Jameer Nelson, which should afford him a sizable increase in playing time overall. With a big jump in minutes expected, look for a potential breakout season for Murray, though his Fantasy potential remains hard to predict as he'll likely be the fifth option offensively behind the likes of Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic, Wilson Chandler and Gary Harris.
Denver made Murray, a 19-year-old from Kentucky by way of Ontario, Canada the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, adding even more young talent to an up-and-coming roster. Murray would likely be penciled in as a starter for most lottery teams, but he'll have to compete with incumbent Gary Harris, as well as Will Barton and Wilson Chandler, for minutes as a rookie. While Harris took a significant step forward last season, Murray's long-term upside is arguably higher, so how coach Mike Malone divides minutes between the two is certainly something worth following. Unlike Harris, Murray can also play on the ball and will challenge veteran Jameer Nelson for playing time behind second-year point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay showed some promise as a rookie, but he struggles as an outside shooter, an area in which Murray excelled at the college level, knocking down better than 40 percent of his 277 three-point attempts during his freshman season. Still, Murray will have to earn his way onto the floor, and it could be several months before he settles into a defined nightly role. As a result, Murray is much more attractive in dynasty formats than he is in single-season leagues. That said, Murray is probably worth a flier near the end of most single-season drafts, but keep in mind that his short-term upside is capped by the quality of the Nuggets' backcourt depth.
More Fantasy News
Progresses to shooting
GDenver Nuggets
Knee
August 7, 2021
Murray (knee) has progressed to shooting and at least light running.
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Diagnosed with torn ACL
GDenver Nuggets
Knee
April 13, 2021
Murray was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee on Tuesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Headed for MRI on left knee
GDenver Nuggets
Knee
April 13, 2021
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said after Monday's 116-107 loss to the Warriors that Murray would undergo an MRI on the left knee injury he suffered in the final minute of the contest, The Athletic reports.
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Suffers knee injury in loss
GDenver Nuggets
April 13, 2021
Murray finished with 17 points (5-15 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block in 33 minutes during Monday's 116-107 loss to the Warriors.
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Returning Monday
GDenver Nuggets
April 12, 2021
Murray (knee) will play Monday against the Warriors, Mike Singer of The Denver Post reports.
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