Kings’ Murray on US Select Team for FIBA World Cup, per agent

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Kings’ Murray on US Select Team for FIBA World Cup, per agent originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Kings forward Keegan Murray will participate in Team USA training camp in August in Las Vegas ahead of the FIBA World Cup, his agent Mark Bartlestein on Thursday confirmed to FOX40’s Sean Cunningham.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the news Thursday morning, citing league sources.

Charania reported that Murray will join several young NBA stars, including Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren and Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, on the US Select Team.

The U.S. Select Team will compete against the 12-man Team USA squad during training camp, and while they aren’t on the preliminary roster set to compete at the FIBA World Cup from Aug. 25 through Sept. 10 in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, Charania reported that the players are eligible to travel with Team USA and serve as alternates in the event of an injury on the main roster.

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Team USA’s training camp begins Aug. 3 in Las Vegas.

Murray, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, burst onto the scene and was an integral part of the Kings snapping their 16-season playoff drought.

Inserted into the starting lineup after the Kings’ third game of the season, Murray ran with the role and went on to make a rookie-record 206 3-pointers while also earning All-Rookie First Team honors. He finished the season averaging 12.2 points on 45 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent from deep. He also added 4.6 rebounds per game.

Murray struggled against the Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs, scoring a total of 10 points in the first three games of the series before breaking out with a 23-point effort in Game 4. Overall for the series, Murray averaged 9.7 points and 6.3 rebounds.

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Entering his second NBA season, more is expected of Murray. The gauntlet was laid down by general manager Monte McNair during a recent interview with The Athletic’s Anthony Slater and Sam Amick.

“We know we need Keegan to take another step,” McNair told Slater and Amick. “And one of the ways he can do that is to be more of a second or third option as opposed to a fourth or fifth option. And it’s hard to do that when you have two all-NBA guys, right? Then you have Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes. So you know, it may take some time for him to do that within the natural flow.”

To his credit, Murray is putting in the time, working out with De’Aaron Fox and even playing two California Classic games at Golden 1 Center earlier this summer.

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Taking part in Team USA’s training camp should provide Murray with a good gauge as to where his game is at and show him what he needs to do to reach a superstar-level.

“He’s going to be a sophomore in this league and it’s not going to be immediate or perfect,” McNair told Slater and Amick. “But I’m really happy with what we’ve seen from him. Scoring, I think, is something that comes naturally to him. He’s an incredibly hard worker. He’s been working with De’Aaron a lot. Hard to find a better mentor for scoring in bunches than him. And as a big 6-foot-8 multi-positional forward, yeah, those are the things that can unlock us.”

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Murray has a big opportunity to work on his game in August, and that should be a welcome sight for the Kings.

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