Power Forward/Center, 6’9.5′″, 240 lbs. Senior, Florida University, 22 years old
26.4 minutes, 12.2 points, 51.6 field goal percentage, 45.3 three point percentage, 78.4 free throw percentage, 1.4 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks.
During his four years at Florida, Erik Murphy became one of the best shooting big men in all of college basketball. In his last season, Murphy took 4.4 threes (half of his total shots!!) a game. Murphy ranks second in PPP (Points Per Possession) off of jump shots for big men — only behind Doug McDermott. His shooting allows him to be a dangerous option in both the catch-and-shoot role, and the pick-and-pop. At 6’10 and 240 pounds, Murphy has great size for a power forward; this could allow him to develop a nice game down low. Besides his nice size, he has shown that he has nice touch around the rim.
His size should not only help him on offense, but on defense, as well. As he got more playing time, and his body filled out in college, he turned into a solid post defender. His length will allow him to defend well in the paint, but he leaves much to be desired when defending the perimeter. All-in-all, he’s an average defender.
As I mentioned above, his defense is okay, not great, and he needs to work on his perimeter defense — especially in today’s game where he could be guarding another stretch four. Also, his defensive rebounding is not very good at all. If you adjusted his stats to 40 minutes, he would only average 6.2 rebounds. That’s not what you want to see out of someone with his size.
Murphy doesn’t exactly have the best upside. He’s an okay athlete, but not that great. He doesn’t have a great upside because of this, and the Lakers could use upside right now.
Where he fits in with the Lakers:
Mike D’Antoni’s system is perfect for Murphy because it needs a stretch four — that’s exactly what Erik is. However, I only see him coming off of the bench, especially if we keep Howard. I’m not sure he can become a starter, but you really aren’t really hoping for a starter at the 48th pick.
Caleb Cottrell: I have an irrational love for Murphy; I seem to love power forwards who can shoot the three: Kevin Love, Ryan Anderson, Ryan Kelly, and so on. So, I would love it if the Lakers drafted Murphy, and I could see him making some sort of impact off of the bench. It’s between Ryan Kelly and Erik Murphy for me; I would be fine with either, but I think Murphy is a little bit better than Kelly. That’s just me, though.
Jacob Rude: Ryan Kelly and Erik Murphy are basically the same type of player minus a couple things. I think both would be great fits on the Lakers. Murphy is a bit stronger than Kelly, but maybe not as good of range. Neither are great rebounders. However, like Caleb said, you don’t expect a starter at the 48th pick. If either Murphy or Kelly are available with the Lakers pick, they should be priority number 1A and 1B, with Kelly having a slight advantage in my book.