If there’s one person who knows Jamal Murray and what he’s capable of, it’s Kentucky head coach John Calipari, and his expectations for the Denver Nuggets’ No. 7-overall pick couldn’t be higher.

“Denver got a steal at seven, absolute steal,” Calipari told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on the Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports Radio.

Many, including Tim Connelly and the Nuggets, felt that Murray was the third-best prospect in this year’s draft class, only trailing Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. For Calipari, it was simple: Murray was the most sure-fire prospect in the draft.

“I felt he was the safest pick,” Calipari said. “And I felt he was the safest pick because what he does is going to transfer. He’s a 6-5 guard that can play both positions. He can score the ball. I believe he’ll be the leading scoring rookie … If he gets on the court, he’s going to score the ball.”

As a true freshman at Kentucky, Murray averaged 20 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from behind the arc, and Calipari believes he’s only beginning to scratch the surface of his talents.

As the king of one-and-done prospects, he’s seen a lot of talented players come through his door, and they almost all improve at the next level. In fact, of his 18 one-and-done prospects, nine went on to average more points as a rookie in the NBA than they did in college under Calipari. He feels Murray will be no different.

“This kid is going to be the leading scoring rookie because he can, and he physically can, and he has the skill to do it,” Calipari said. “And what he did for us, he went from a volume shooter to an efficient basketball player. From a 1-to-1 turnover-to-assist (ratio) — not good enough — to a 2-1 turnover-to-assist ratio.”

And it’s that second part that Calipari believes will come to define Murray’s career in the NBA: ever-improving. As the Nuggets have said repeatedly since selecting Murray last Thursday, you’ll be hard pressed to find a young kid willing to work harder than Jamal Murray.

“The one thing all these teams want to know is, does the guy love the game?,” Calipari said. “Is he only doing it to be paid and have a nice car or does he just love playing basketball? This kid, that’s all it is for him … He just wants to play basketball. He wants to be in the gym and get better.”

To listen to more of the conversation with John Calipari, check out the podcast below …

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