Kris Murray came one step closer to realizing his NBA dream Tuesday when a report surfaced that he was invited to next week's scouting combine in Chicago. It was reported later in the day that he was declining the opportunity.
His father, former Hawkeye Kenyon Murray, addressed speculation that the declined invite meant a return to Iowa.
Murray's twin brother, Keegan Murray, is expected to be a lottery pick when the draft tips off next month and did show up on the list of combine attendees. Kris Murray, who started only one game for the Hawkeyes in his first two seasons, is testing the draft process.
When Kris announced last month that he'd be working out for NBA teams this spring, the thought was that he would gather feedback before returning to Iowa next season and trying to follow his brother's path to stardom. There has been momentum recently suggesting he could stay in the draft. Sports Illustrated last week ranked him No. 37 overall among eligible prospects.
A strong performance in Chicago next week could have kept that momentum going for Kris. Top prospects like Keegan usually don't work out at the combine, their stock already set.
Kris Murray (6-foot-8, 211 pounds) posted single season bests in every statistical category last season. He improved his scoring average by +9.1 points per game and rebounding average by 3.7 per outing. Murray was Iowa’s leading scorer (9.7 ppg) and rebounder (4.3 rpg) off the bench, which ranked fourth and third overall, respectively.
His 31 blocks and 43 3-point field goals rank seventh and eighth most, respectively, by a Hawkeye sophomore. He ranked second on the squad in 3-point accuracy (.387, 43-of-11), blocked shots per game (0.9) and field goals made (124), third in offensive (1.6) and defensive (2.7) rebounds, and fourth in steals (0.8). He made at least one 3-pointer in a team-best 17 consecutive games (Jan. 22-March 13) and recorded multiple steals in 10 games and multiple blocks in nine contests.
After serving as a reserve in 2020-21, Keegan emerged as one of the top players in the country last season, leading the team in scoring (23.5 PPG) and rebounding (8.7 RPG). He earned consensus first-team All-American honors, was the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year, and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Lute Olson Award and Lefty Driesell Award.