The Boston Celtics got Troy Murphy and the Miami Heat didn’t.
In the end, that may be the biggest part of the Murphy signing by the Celtics. Boston already had some depth, even though their front line is banged up now. Miami on the other hand really needs a guy who can stretch the floor and get some boards inside. They need another big man more desperately than the Celtics.
But Murphy will get a chance to prove he can be more than that for Boston — and he could get thrown into the mix quickly with Kendrick Perkins in the West, Shaquille O’Neal out at least another week and Jermaine O’Neal another month.
Jessica Camerato over at CSN New England lists a few other things Murphy brings to the table.
Murphy’s size (6-11, 245 pounds) and shooting abilities gives him the rebounding skills of a big man and the long-range game of a guard. Last season he averaged 10.2 rebounds per game while knocking down 128 3-pointers (38.4%) with the Indiana Pacers. Expect Murphy to spread the floor, one of the Celtics biggest weapons, while being a reliable contributor on the glass…
Murphy, 30, has been in the league for nine years. But after appearing in 639 games, he has yet to see the postseason. This could actually be an advantage to the Celtics. Even though Murphy has never battled through the playoffs, he comes to Boston hungry to win.
I’m not sure hunger to win it all again was really a concern in Boston. But fine.
Word of caution Celtics fans — don’t expect too much. Teams don’t buy out productive players. Murphy has battled injuries this season, been sent home from the team and his numbers are well down this season from previous.
The best-case scenario is a P.J. Brown boost — 10 quality veteran minutes a night that gives you some key playoff moments. Maybe that is all Boston needs.
But at least he’s not in Miami.
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.