Spears predicts Murray wins ROY on playoff-bound Kings team


The Kings are hoping that the 2022-23 season is the one where their NBA-record 16-year playoff drought comes to an end. 

If that happens, chances are that rookie and No. 4 pick in the draft, Keegan Murray, will have played a big role in Sacramento's success. 

ESPN's Marc J Spears joined "NBA Today" on Tuesday where he was asked to make his pick for 2022-23 Rookie of the Year. Not only did he pick Murray, but he also claimed that Sacramento will make the playoffs. 

"Keegan Murray because he is going to be on a playoff team," Spears said. "The Kings are going to end the streak, have the best record of all them rookies, so Keegan Murray is going to be your Rookie of the Year."

Spears' pick surprised the entire panel of analysts, so the following day on Wednesday, he doubled down on his two bold predictions. Spears explained why he believes the Kings are playoff-bound. 

"Former All-Star [Domantas] Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox are great together," Spears added. "Check out their pick-and-roll, they're going to be special together. Fox will be an All-Star player now that they're going to have a training camp together. Davion Mitchell is going to take it up another level next season. Keegan Murray was the summer league MVP ... NBA champ-vet Harrison Barnes is back on the team. Two solid veterans, right? Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk (are) new, Richaun Holmes underrated. They had two voluntary camps, at least eight players showed up, veteran coaching staff. I'm putting y'all on game.

"They will be the eighth seed in the playoffs."

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The Kings do have some exciting pieces heading into this season. Fox and Sabonis showed what they were capable of as a dynamic duo towards the end of last season and both Murray and second-year guard Davion Mitchell offer exciting upside for a roster that now has a few productive and experienced veterans in Huerter, Monk and Barnes. 

Whether or not it results in Sacramento's first playoff appearance since 2006 remains to be seen, although it is clear that the Kings are headed in the right direction

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