Celtics, Heat Are Frontrunners To Sign Troy Murphy
Posted by Brian Robb on Feb 23, 2011
The current New Jersey Net Troy Murphy is expected to be dealt later today to the Golden State Warriors for a package consisting of Brandon Wright and Dan Gadzuric and a 2012 second round pick according to Yahoo! Sports’Adrian Wojnarowski.
Once the deal is completed, Murphy will be bought out for the remainder of his $12 million expiring contract this year and become a free agent. Woj announced in his initial report that Dallas, Orlando, Miami, and Boston would be all candidates for Murphy to sign with, but we got a positive update on a new list from Chris Mannix of SI.com this morning:
Boston and Miami are the frontrunners to sign soon to be free agent Troy Murphy, league sources tell SI
CH’s Analysis: A couple important questions as we can consider this latest development. First, for those wondering if the C’s need a guy like Murphy who played just 18 games for the Nets this year and was in Avery Johnson’s doghouse the entire time? Well, the answer is a resounding yes. Why? Murphy’s ability to rebound and spread the floor.
The 6-11 30-year-old is a 39.1 percent career shooter from downtown. He is shooting a putrid 17 percent in limited action, but hit 38 percent from deep last year in Indiana, so he hasn’t lost his touch that quickly, he just hasn’t had a chance to play. We all should realize how much Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge love bigs who spread the floor (a la Rasheed Wallace) but this guy is a much better pure shooter than Wallace ever was with a sweet lefty stroke.
If he signs with Boston, I relish the possibilities for Doc Rivers drawing up game winning plays with another legitimate option from downtown as a big. And for a team whose bench needs an offensive upgrade at the moment, you could do a lot worse than Murphy.
Murphy is also a terrific defensive rebounder, averaging a double-double for the last two years and coming in the top 10 in power forward rebounding rate as well. The guy can clean up the defensive glass and has the size to do it. The bad news? He’s very slow, unathletic, and subpar on the defensive end, which could be painful to watch for some C’s fans. Hopefully Kevin Garnett getting into his ear could change that.
The other big question however if the C’s are able to agree to terms with Murphy…..is who exactly do you cut from this roster?
The C’s, as we will know have a full 15 man squad, so the answer isn’t easy. Marquis Daniels’ is a clear possibility if he can’t come back, as the team could waive him/buy him out/trade him if Daniels allows them to. The C’s are likely still in the market for a swingman though, so they will need one more roster spot to open up if they want to bring in Murphy and a 3. A quick look at the possibilities to clear roster space:
Semih Erden: The Turkish rookie big man is battling a sore groin and looked out of sorts against Golden State last night, especially on the defensive end. However, he’s a prospect with size that’s signed on the cheap through next year, so cutting him probably won’t happen. An inclusion in a trade is possible but not probable. He will see his playing time dry up if Murphy arrives though.
Luke Harangody: One former Notre Dame star pushing another out of town? That would be the storyline here if Murphy arrives, as the smaller former Irish power forward would get the boot for the 6-11 Murphy. I still feel like Rivers likes Luke, who could be a regular rotation player someday perhaps, but Murphy does everything that Harangody does (shoot, rebound) but better. He’s also bigger. Harangody is signed through next year, so he may very well be dealt if Murphy is brought in to try to get a little value for him. He’s definitely the favorite to go though if they need to open a spot.
Nate Robinson: This guy could still be dealt and part of me thinks Doc was showcasing him a bit, playing him so much over Von Wafer against Golden State last night. He won’t be cut however with 4 million dollars being owed to him for next year as well.
Will Murphy Come Here?
That’s a big question. There’s no doubt he would help Miami a lot, but the minutes are available in Boston as well, especially if Perk’s injury lasts longer than we have anticipated. If Troy wants to play 20 minutes a game and get a ring, his best chance is right here, as opposed to the Heat where he will be another big that doesn’t play D around the hoop. The choice is his…..but how could he say no to the luck of the Irish?