Kings Keegan Murray is on a short leash for an encouraging reason

SACRAMENTO – Sacramento Kings rookie Keegan Murray is on a short leash with Mike Brown, but that isn’t a bad thing. Since being inserted into the starting lineup, the coach is holding Murray accountable in a way most rookies aren’t. Top picks usually have opportunities to learn on the fly and by making mistakes. That isn’t going to happen for the fourth pick of this year’s draft.

“Keegan’s situation is unique as a rookie compared to everyone else in the top 10, top 15 of this past year’s draft,” Brown told Sideline Sources. “I’m going to coach him like he’s a vet. If he isn’t playing well, he’s coming out of the game. We have other guys that could step up and possibly help us win because we are a playoff team. We’re there now, and we want to stay there.”

Brown and the Golden State Warriors used a similar approach last year with rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. They weren’t starters like Murray, but they were on a very short leash. Both players experienced playing big minutes one night and not playing at all the next game. It was a very tough task, but the awkward situation helped the Warriors win a championship.

This year the Kings are attempting to point the franchise in the right direction, and that’s why the best players will play nightly. That’s why a short leash is necessary. So far, things have been going pretty well, besides the squad’s most recent road trip. But even after going 1-2 on the road, the Kings are still confident.

The Kings mindset

“We’ll take it like every other game,” Davion Mitchell told Sideline Sources. “Every game we come in we have the mindset that we have to win the game.”

Overall the Kings are 10-8 this season, and that places them as the 6th seed in the postseason. Wednesday, they will have a chance to improve their record against the Phoenix Suns inside the Golden 1 Center. The Suns come into the match with the best record in the Western Conference and hope to leave that way. While the Kings have other plans.

Winning Wednesday night could show the world this team is the real deal, and it could be the start of another Kings’ winning streak.