Keegan Murray

Why Keegan is choosing to play with Kings in summer league

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Keegan Murray is doing what he can to elevate his game.

Speaking with reporters after Kings practice Thursday, the 22-year-old explained what it means for him to play in summer league again, despite his successful rookie season.

"I mean it's cool coming back, especially for summer league, just getting in the flow of practices and stuff, so I'm excited to do this and it'll be a fun summer," Murray said Thursday.

As a key contributor to the Kings' success last season, Murray shared that he expects to play in only "a couple" of games before eventually being shut down. Still, the young forward is going to use the opportunities he has to try and get better.

"I don't know the exact number right now, but just playing the game, stuff I worked on, things like that," Murray continued. "I mean, [Kings coach Mike Brown] came to me earlier in the year and just kind of like, 'It'd be good for you' and I was on board with it.

"I feel like it was a culture shift we wanted to do in a way."

Murray expanded on his playing in summer league as a "culture shift," stating that success on the basketball court ultimately is what every player should strive for.

"It's easy for me, like the stuff I did this year, playing in the playoffs, I started as a rookie, it's easy for me to say no and just carry on with my summer," Murray said. "But we just want to establish, as an organization, just being able to play in summer league and look at it as a good thing.

"And I was on board with it, Mike was on board with it, the whole coaching staff and I feel like it's just a really cool thing he's established."

With Murray penciled to play in summer league, he said that he was willing to play any position in hopes of getting him out of his comfort zone. In doing so, Muray can focus on the aspects of his game that he had been working on and what he needs to get better at so he can expand his game as much as possible.

Kings summer league head coach Luke Loucks understands that it's not every day a player of Murray's caliber plays in summer league games and calls it a "great opportunity."

"I think it's huge," Loucks told reporters Thursday. "First and foremost that he wants to be here. He could be anywhere, like you said, All-Rookie, he could be back home working out. He wants to play and he wants to get better.

"I think the whole organization knows he's going to have to take the next step for us to take the next step. So he's here doing it."

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As summer league inches closer and closer, Kings rookies Colby Jones and Jalen Slawson will get to show that they are capable of rising to the challenge in front of basketball fans, other organizations and their own front office.

And who better to lead the way than Murray, the former summer league MVP?

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