Boston picked up Troy Murphy. Miami picked up Mike Bibby. Chicago picked up Rasual Butler.
Three of the four teams considered contenders in the East picked up a veteran for their bench that was bought out at the deadline by another team.
Orlando stood pat. Want to guess what Stan Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel about buyouts?
Van Gundy feels the current rules make it tougher to convince players to sacrifice for the good of a team.
“You spend all this time in your locker room talking about trying to get guys to put aside personal things and ‘it’s all about the team,’ ” Van Gundy said. “And then on March 1st you’re changing the team and sending guys out the door. I think pretty quickly players pick up that you’re sort of full of crap, that they’re not really part of it. And why are they buying in [to the team concept] if you’re just going to jettison ’em? I don’t think it’s good…”
“I don’t like it, but I’m not saying anybody’s wrong, and if there’s somebody out there that would’ve helped us, we would’ve done it, too,” Van Gundy said. “I just think the league needs to look at the whole thing.”
I’m not convinced that the buyout is that big a part of this. A player buys in or doesn’t based on their makeup. A real competitor will fight regardless of the circumstances (Antawn Jamison in Cleveland this season pops to mind). But, you can bet this will come up during the CBA talks, too.
And his new nickname will be “Dropkick.”
Troy Murphy is going to go to Boston, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Marc Stein, who spoke with Murphy. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England confirms Murphy is Boston bound as well.
So the Notre Dame graduate Irish kid chose Boston. Suppose we should have seen that coming.
Murphy was traded at the deadline by the Nets, where he had not even been around the team in months, to the Warriors at the trade deadline. Golden State then bought out his nearly $12 million contract, making Murphy a free agent once he clears waivers.
At 6’11” Murphy will give Boston a little more size along the front line, something they could use after trading Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City. He could get thrown into games quickly as Shaquille O’Neal is expected to be out at least another week and Jermaine O’Neal is expected to be out another month.
Murphy is a classic stretch four that can play inside but is more comfortable out on the perimeter. He is a career 39.1 percent shooter from three. He has been far less impressive this season with the Nets (shooting 17.4 percent) but that is in very few chances while battling injuries. If healthy and able to return to anywhere near form he would be a boost to the Celtics.
Just 24 hours ago Boston felt pretty good about getting some more help along their front line in the form of Troy Murphy, the veteran stretch four bought out by the Warriors.
Then Pat Riley and the Heat got involved.
Things are up in the air with a decision expected Tuesday, according to CSN New England’s A. Sherrod Blakely.
“[Murphy’s] camp did not believe the Miami Heat were going to create the kind of roster space to bring him aboard, because that would mean they would have to eat a guaranteed contract, which . . . it seemed like they weren’t willing to do,” said Blakely. “But that has changed.
“I think a reason for that is because they’ve played a few games and they’ve realized they really do need [someone] who can space the floor for LeBron James and Chris Bosh and those guys. So Miami is definitely back in play [for Murphy] . . . ”
Murphy reportedly spoke to Danny Ainge of the Celtics and Pat Riley of the Heat on Monday night, and may make a decision as early as Tuesday.
Murphy is still torn on the decision, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. Miami is the frontrunner now for Murphy, according to Chris Broussard at ESPN.
Mike Bibby, however, continues to seem headed to the Heat once he clears waivers. That would bring another guy who, like Murphy, can hit the three and spread the floor for Miami. But the Heat already have Eddie House in that role and how much time Bibby would see on the court versus Carlos Arroyo remains to be seen.
But the Heat are searching hard for answers about their depth.