Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray
22-Year-Old GuardG
Denver Nuggets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $169.65 million contract extension with the Nuggets in July of 2019.
Efficient in preseason victory
GDenver Nuggets
October 11, 2019
Murray poured in nine points (4-7 FG, 1-3 FT) and added two rebounds, two assists and one block across 24 minutes during the Nuggets' 111-91 preseason win over the Clippers on Thursday.
Murray boosted his shooting percentage significantly Thursday after draining just three of his 10 attempts in the preseason opener versus the Trail Blazers on Tuesday. The 2016 first-round pick upped his scoring, rebounding and assist numbers for the second consecutive year last season, but he'll look to reverse the dip in shooting percentage he experienced (43.7 percent, compared to 45.1 percent in 2017-18).
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Won't play in FIBA World Cup
GDenver Nuggets
August 5, 2019
Murray won't play for Team Canada in the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup after recently sustaining a sprained ankle, Blake Murphy of The Athletic reports.
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Locked up by Nuggets
GDenver Nuggets
June 30, 2019
Murray agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract with the Nuggets on Sunday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Disappointing end to the season
GDenver Nuggets
May 12, 2019
Murray ended with 17 points (4-18 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 9-9 FT), six rebounds, and five assists in 37 minutes during Sunday's 100-96 loss to Portland.
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Productive despite shooting issues
GDenver Nuggets
May 10, 2019
Murray finished with 24 points (7-20 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 10 rebounds, five assists and one steal across 46 minutes during the Nuggets' 119-108 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal-round playoff series Thursday.
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Another strong complementary effort
GDenver Nuggets
May 8, 2019
Murray collected 18 points (7-16 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT), nine assists, five rebounds and one block across 34 minutes during the Nuggets' 124-98 win over the Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal-round playoff series Tuesday.
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