Should Wizards draft for need or best available?
While Erik Murphy works out in preparation for the NBA, he couldn't have picked a better roommate than Louisville point guard Peyton Siva.
Like Siva, who only had one interview at last week’s pre-draft combine in Chicago, Murphy wasn't in high demand, either. The power forward from Florida only had two. They shared a room at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, a facility frequented by many pros and aspiring pros for off-season conditioning.
Murphy stands 6-9 and could be the type of pick-and-pop player the Wizards are looking for if they use either of their second-round draft picks. He averaged 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and shot 51.6% from the field in his senior season. Murphy also shot 45.3% from three-point range.
“If you can play, you play no matter how athletic you are,” said Murphy. “Hopefully somebody thinks I can play and picks me up.
“I’m more athletic than people think. I’m obviously not a freak athlete. I can do a little bit more scoring the ball from the mid-post area and a little better defender than people realize. I can score the ball in more a variety of ways. I was primarily just pick-and-pop. I can put it on the floor better.”
Murphy could provide the shooting stroke in the pick-and-roll that the Wizards desperately lack behind Nene in forwards Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton.
The Wizards have the No. 3 overall pick, too, but coach Randy Wittman and GM Ernie Grunfeld would prefer to not draft three rookies for an already young team. Rookie Bradley Beal, 19, spent one season at Florida and played with Murphy. Beal was the No. 3 overall pick in 2012.
Beal started slow but came on strong in the second half of the season, finishing with All-Rookie first team honors and averaging 13.9 points per game. Murphy wouldn't mind rejoining him.
“That would be awesome playing with Brad again. He’s a great kid a great player. If you’re going to pay me I’ll go anywhere,” Murphy said. “He kind of did that in college, too. He blended in a little bit, got comfortable in the situation and then halfway through the year started taking over on his own. He likes to settle in.”