NBA Drafts: Jamal Murray Reveals He Could Have Been a Part of Devin Booker’s Teammate at Phoenix Suns

Published 11/17/2020, 9:43 PM EST
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball against the LA Clippers during the first half of game five in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Since the better part of two decades, the Phoenix Suns have constantly missed out on brilliant talent in the lottery draft selections. Among all franchises in the league, they have a mediocre draft record. Other than Devin Booker, none of their draftees have been any kind of inspiration. Not only that, but they also had a chance to pick now Denver Nuggets‘ star, Jamal Murray, but blew it.

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Since 2015, the Suns have left behind players like Raptors’ Pascal Siakam, Nets’ Caris LeVert, Heat’s Bam Adebayo, Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, etc. Instead, they chose Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson, who have had little impact on the organization so far.

During the 2016 NBA Draft, the Suns took a chance with Bender with their fourth overall pick. But after they took Bender, who was left on board? Kentucky’s young star, Jamal Murray.

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Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball against LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) during the first half of game five in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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A Devin Booker and Jamal Murray combination

However, what would have happened if the Suns had picked Murray instead of Bender? It’s quite possible that Murray and Booker’s duo could have changed the course of Suns’ fate in the league.

According to Scoop B, Murray told ‘The Players Tribune’, “I only worked out for Boston, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Minnesota…”

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“I didn’t even work out for Denver… They took Jaylen Brown in Boston… They took Dragan Bender in Phoenix so it could have been me and [Devin] Booker in the backcourt… Then the Pelicans took Buddy [Hield], so that’s when I was like where am I going??”

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Watching Murray lead the Nuggets to the Conference finals must have been a painful reality check for the Suns. They also could have had a championship contender team, without swapping their assets to bring in a player like Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chris Paul.

Although Booker and Murray’s pairing wouldn’t have been perfect. This is because both are quite ball-dominant, but such a strong offense wouldn’t have been a simple task for the opponents to tackle.

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Yashima Bhatia

1466 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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