IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s basketball standout Kris Murray was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 23rd overall selection of the 2023 NBA Draft held Thursday evening.
Murray watched the draft privately in Iowa City surrounded by family and friends.
“Portland is excited to have me,” said Murray. “They said they were running through the halls when they picked me. I am excited to meet everyone and get to Portland. I think it will be a really good situation for me.”
Kris’ twin brother, Keegan was selected with the fourth overall pick a year ago by the Sacramento Kings. It marks the second time in program history that Iowa has had first-round draft picks in consecutive years. John Johnson was selected by Cleveland in 1970 and Seattle picked Fred Brown in 1971 (B.J. Armstrong and Roy Marble were each chosen in the first round of the 1989 draft).
The Murray’s are the fifth set of twins drafted in the NBA first round, joining Horace and Harvey Grant (1987; 1988), Brook and Robin Lopez (2008), Markieff and Marcus Morris (2011) and Amen and Ausar Thompson (2023).
Kris Murray becomes the 58th Iowa men’s basketball player to be selected in an NBA Draft, and 23rd to be selected in the top two rounds. He is the fourth Hawkeye to be drafted in the last three seasons and sixth in the Fran McCaffery era. Roy Devyn Marble (Orlando) and Aaron White (Washington) were drafted in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Luka Garza (Detroit) and Joe Wieskamp (San Antonio) were picked in 2021, while Keegan Murray was selected by Sacramento in 2022. Undrafted free agent Tyler Cook, who played three seasons with the Hawkeyes (2017-19), played 28 games with the Pistons in 2021 and 20 contests with the Chicago Bulls in 2022.
Murray (6-foot-8, 220 pounds) was a consensus third-team All-American after being voted third team All-America by Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the Associated Press this past season. He was also a Naismith, Wooden and Lute Olson Award semifinalist, and was a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year. Murray also earned NABC and USBWA All-District accolades and was a unanimous all-conference selection.
Murray, who shared the 2023 Chris Street Award with teammate Filip Rebraca, averaged a team-best 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds as a junior. He was the only Division I player to average 20+ points, 7+ rebounds, one block, and have made 65+ 3-pointers in 2023. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native scored 30+ points four times, 25+ points nine times and 20+ points 15 times last season.
Murray helped the Hawkeyes win 67 games, advance to three NCAA Tournaments and win the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship during his three years in Iowa City. In three seasons, he amassed 934 points, 387 rebounds, 96 assists, 66 blocks and 60 steals.