Marquese Chriss shot up 2016 mock drafts and became an unexpected top 10 pick. The electrifying forward averaged nearly 14 points and five rebounds per game for the Huskies, later declaring for the NBA Draft. Chriss was under-recruited by college programs despite being an ESPN100 recruit. Only Washington and Vanderbilt offered scholarships to the Elk Grove, Calif. native.
The Phoenix Suns drafted Chriss 8th overall–a steal for a team loaded with young talent. Chriss played in all 82 games of his rookie season and is yet to celebrate his 20th birthday. He scored nine per game for Phoenix and consistently made highlight reels with flashy dunks.
The Suns finished dead last in the West, but have a bright future with a stockpile of talent and the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft.
Dejounte Murray also went in the first round of the 2016 Draft along with teammate Chriss. Murray was another one-and-done college player, averaging 16.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game as a freshman at UW.
Murray went to the Spurs with the 29th overall pick. San Antonio became a great fit for a player who some experts claimed was not ready for the NBA. A full season of learning behind veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli combined with playoff experience was valuable for the developing guard.
Murray averaged 15 minutes per game in the playoffs for the Spurs. His strongest performance came in game six against Houston, earning a double double with 11 points and 10 boards.