Draft profiles: Kevin murphy, 6'7, 190 lbs., SG, Tennessee Tech

Draft profiles: Kevin murphy, 6'7, 190 lbs., SG, Tennessee Tech

Murphy is one of those late bloomers that is likely to rise up the charts as it gets closer to the draft.  He's an under-rated prospect but will likely impress in individual workouts by the time draft week comes around.

Athletic Ability

Athletically, while not an elite athlete by NBA standards, he's no slouch.  He has solid lateral quickness for defense and is a fluid athlete in the open floor.  He'll need to add strength to his package at the next level though.


He has the height to have an advantage at his position, but the concern is whether he can add weight to his skinny frame at around 190 lbs.?  With his lack of weight, he'll struggle with the physical aspects of the NBA game, fighting through screens, physical defenders, etc..

One big concern I have is he seems to shy away from contact once getting to the rack. Can he not finish well there, or is he afraid of limited contact? This is where individual interviews, workouts, and thorough evaluations will be pivotal.

Off-Court Issues

There are no real concerns with Kevin’s past.  He had grade problems and was an average prospect in high school which is why he ended up at Tennessee Tech to begin with, but nothing that's a huge concern.

Basketball IQ and want it factor

Overall, I think he has a solid basketball IQ in terms of knowing how to get his shots off against various defenses/defenders.  He was also a solid defender and knows how to angle opposing players even if he played largely against weaker competition.

However, he shot the ball a little too much and has a high turnover rate which are cause for concern. Whether this is due to his own problems or due to a lack of talent around him is the question. Of course, he'll need to transition to a role player type role rather than a focal point role at the next level. In the games I watched, I did not see his bad possessions as a result of selfishness.


Kevin is an intriguing prospect at the next level because of his offensive skills, solid athleticism, and size at the shooting guard position.  If he played at a bigger school, he would probably be a surefire pick in the 20’s.   However, teams are going to question did he score as a volume shooter because he played at a smaller school despite being the clear go-to-guy (only one other double-figure scorer on team) on solid shooting percentages (45% overall, 42% from three on 6 attempts a game) against weaker competition.

Offensively, Kevin is a good shooter off the bounce, in the mid-range game, and as a three-point threat.  He also scores in transition and is not afraid to pull-up and shoot.  Kevin possesses a good first step and usually uses it to set up a mid-range jumper or floater.

However, outside of this, he also possesses some significant weaknesses.  He is very skinny and seems to be shy of taking contact at times when getting to the rack.  While being the go-to-scorer and really having one other legitimate scorer on his team, he seemed to struggle with his turnovers compared to assists.  At this level, while he might be a good scorer still, he will need to learn to see the court better as he will not be the number 1 type scorer for a team.

Defensively, while not great, he should not be a liability at the shooting guard position.  There are concerns how he will fight through screens.  However, he shows willingness to try and defend and at his length, should at least be average in time.


Overall, Kevin is one of those players to keep an eye on.  Are you getting a Von Wafer, Marshon Brooks, or a Kevin Martin type player?   The thing that excites me about him being more towards a Marshon Brooks type player is that he is a very good shooter (shooting near 42% from three this year) and 45% overall.  

He is also a solid creator and not just a one-trick pony offensively, provides size at the 2, and with time, should not be a liability on the defensive end.  I am scared of his turnover rate.  He is also more of a risky choice than say John Jenkins whom I feel very confident in making it in the league as the best shooter in a while coming out of the draft and even a Doron Lamb.

Kevin is strictly an enticing prospect because of his ability to score relative to his likely draft position.   Can he hone his skills to be a 6th man type off the bench?   It might take him a little time to adjust to a new role, but he could be dangerous if he learns his role at the NBA level.  A lot of where he will be drafted will be dependent on how his interviews and workouts go.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

Overall, I feel Kevin Murphy is a big sleeper at pick 29 and will probably be close to where we are picking.  If available, I am very tempted to take Kevin Murphy over players such as John Jenkins, Doron Lamb, Fab Melo, Darius Miller and Andrew Nicholson because I feel he has a chance to be more of a consistent impact player even though I feel more comfortable with John Jenkins and Doron Lamb having a better chance at a longer career. 

Essentially, he provides a higher risk/reward profile, but if he pans out could be what we need at the shooting guard position.  He is a good shooter (albeit streaky) from three and off pull-ups in mid-range, can handle a little bit with some floaters (although he might struggle in the lane), and is not a liability at the defensive end.   It also might take Kevin longer to transition than other prospects as he is going from playing mid-major basketball to pro level speed basketball.

He might be that “irrational confidence player” that we need.  Even though he had more turnovers than assists, I don’t feel he is a black-hole.  Nor do I feel he jacks up shots all over, because other than this year, he has always shot in moderate volume.  Also, because he tries hard on defense, I think he has a chance to not be as big of a liability on the court such as Jamal Crawford or Nick Young.   A lot depends on how much work he puts into his game and how he adjusts to a new role.


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  • Kevin is an interesting prospect I think he would be worth the gamble if he falls to us. Good review.

  • It's nice to get a heads up on a dark horse from a mid major that is moving up the draft boards of NBA franchises. Thanks Kevin.

    A hobby such as evaluating draft prospects is limited by rescources you simply don't have. I obviously don't have the professional and media accessed tool Synergy. Utilized by pro scouts and execs. That said, I don't know if you have watched this guy Murphy play much, but obviously I have not and can not.
    It's a similar situation with Andrew Nicholson. I had maybe one chance to watch him this year, but used my time elsewhere as I made what I believe now was an incorrect judgement based on a pretty damning comment regarding a personal assessment from a respected scouting and mock draft site.

    While it is obviously critical to watch a player's game, for myself probably at least five or more games really if they are on the short list or a person of interest, sometimes you just don't get that opportunity. And I believe you do need to glimpse a player's character and personality the best you can in game, timeouts, plus interviews etc.(As I've stated when you cut out free throws, commercials, most of half time i.e DVR it's not so time consuming really especially with the shorter college game)

    Of course, when you have to go solely by stats and scouting reports you really are getting an incomplete picture, and you have left the realm of credible assessment to some extent.

    However, we are not NBA scouts or executives, and can still formulate an educated judgement despite somewhat limited evidence. And stats can never, never be underrated IMO. Though it takes experience and study of anomaly and failure to analyze them competently. And thus keep them in perspective.

    From a probablility standpoint the focus is on successful NBA scorers of 12 or more points(an arbitrary total reached at some point in careers of significant rotation players or starters) who shoot a quality percentage(again arbitrary) for two or more seasons of 45%(for guards/wings) and low to mid 50's for primary post bigs. Three point dominant players make that shooting percentage the more relevant number. These are the profiles where I studied commonalities.

    The point is if you accept this profile as in the neighborhood of legitimacy, then you look for the commonalities in the collegiate careers or stats amongst the 12ppg and up players who shoot 45%(low 50's bigs) or more in the NBA. While realizing that your defensive stoppers, rebounding machines etc. also embody many of the same exceptional numbers as scorers do.

    I found that common factors for wings as in minimum exceptional numbers are(with some flexibility of course) 4.5 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game for PG's, 1.5 steals per game, and 1.5 blocks per game. These along with free throw rates commesurate with games as in three point shooters you want to see preferably some high 70's to low 80's depending on proportion of their game. Also A/TO ratios of 1.7 or higher.

    Explaining my statistical criteria, I hope it was of interest. i realize professional scouts and media use true shooting percentage, efficient field goals, and other more advanced metrics. I do reference these also, but at the core are my standard exceptional categories. Bottom line: Kevin Murphy has no prolific scoring his first two seaons, no exceptional numbers in rebounds or steals until his junior year where age mtaurity becomes a factor. He is regarded as not possessing advanced ball handling skills or elite athleticism. Strictly from those too damning categories of paramount importance I would not draft this player.

    If I saw him play and his personality I might feel differently. And if Kevin holds him in high regard enough to be a better pick then Doron Lamb and Andrew Nicholson then obviously he could be somebody to get excited about should the Bulls select him.

  • I enjoy reading about draft prosepcts from Kevin's profiles which are great, but I pretty much have made up my mind. If a samll trade up is possible it's Andrew Nicholson and if not then Doron Lamb. If we could get higher say to 15 Arnett Moultrie would be of interest. If we stay at 29 then based on who will likely be available to me the safe choice is Darius-Johnson Odom who despite being undersized can play combo point with(my projections) 14 or more ppg on 44-45% with solid three point shooting and acceptable or better defense. With good presence on the ball club and competitiveness. Others notables would be Will Barton(offensive ability alone) and Marcus Denmon(prolific threes with free throw pedigree and D). Honorable mention to Jae Crowder(yes I know you could second guess him to death but his offensive game and ability to play some fours rebounding and D with three point shooting is undervalued IMO) See last third of regular season, NCAA tourney(Murray State game), improved free throws, and awesome steals total.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    If Jeff Taylor fell to 29 he might surpass D.J.O, and be the best available. I realize Odom, Barton, Denmon are ranked far lower in the second, but so was Marcus Thornton and some of these guys will rise like Barton.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:


    I appreciate all your feedback and like some, but not all of the prospects you have listed.

    Bear in mind, I am going off what I have seen on T.V. (plus I live in TN now so I got to see Mr. Murphy some). I don't get the access to interviews, one-on-one, but there have been rumblings that Kevin Murphy is holding his own in 5-on-5.

    I think seeing how they do against others is pivotal, but sometimes I feel scouts/G.M.'s look too much at that or look at too many holes sometimes too.

    Case in point - Marcus Thornton - boy was I high on him. I was also very high on Ty Lawson that year, Jrue Holiday, and Eric Maynor (wrong so far on that). I was not high on James Johnson nor Taj either (wrong on that). I was not high on Tyrus the year before and was very high on LeMarcus Alridge even if Scott Skiles stared at him to make him uncomfortable.

    Doron is going to be solid, but we have enough solid in my opinion. I am not saying draft someone with low basketball IQ, but someone with some talent. We will see I guess.

    One thing I don't like in basketball players - low basketball IQ and unless you have an overwhelming skill in a need - softness.

  • Oh Well, there goes the Noah to the Hornets for Eric Gordon trade, unless of course Anthony Davis is a power forward in the NBA and not a center.

    For you conspiracy theorists there could not have been a better result of the draft lottery.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't see how you could play Noah/Davis together even if Davis is a PF.

    It's much better than the alternative of the Bobcats getting #1.

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