New York Knicks: Toure' Murry

Knicks sign Cleanthony Early

August, 1, 2014
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Cleanthony EarlyGary Dineen/NBAE/Getty ImagesCleanthony Early, at 6-foot-7, can score inside and outside and is a solid rebounder.
The Knicks have signed rookie Cleanthony Early to a contract. The team announced the signing on Friday afternoon.

New York drafted Early with the 34th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. Contract details were not released.

Due to the Knicks’ salary cap restraints and Early’s status as a second-round pick, the most New York would be able to offer Early is a two-year contract worth the minimum salary ($507,336 in Year One and $845,059 in Year Two).

The Knicks hope that Early can step in to the rotation and backup Carmelo Anthony and others at small forward. In four games in the Las Vegas Summer League, Early averaged 11.5 points on 45 percent shooting.

The Knicks also may still re-sign Toure' Murry. The free agent guard has drawn interest from the Heat, Jazz and Clippers, according to a league source.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Source: Murry an unrestricted free agent

July, 1, 2014
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The New York Knicks have declined to offer guard Toure' Murry a qualifying offer, electing to make him an unrestricted free agent, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

The Knicks had to inform Murry of their intentions on Monday. If they’d extended him a qualifying offer, it would have allowed them to match any off made to Murry by another team.

Now, Murry is free to sign with whichever team he chooses.

Sources tell Stein that the Knicks would like to re-sign Murry. But the guard is sure to attract significant interest on the free agent market.

Murry is believed to be on the radar of a handful of teams -- Chicago and Golden State among them -- that were hoping that the Knicks allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent.

ESPNNewYork.com reported last week that the Brooklyn Nets also have interest in Murry.

Murry, 24, averaged 2.7 points and 1.0 assists in 7.3 minutes per game last season but showed a glimpse of what he can do in the season's final two games, scoring 12.5 points per game and handing out 3.5 assists in 25.5 minutes in those appearances.

At 6-5, Murry seems to have the height that Jackson covets in his guards in the triangle offense. The Knicks, it should be noted, have eight guards on the roster (including free agent Shannon Brown). And Jackson noted last week that he’d have to make roster moves to balance the roster.

Making Murry a free agent takes his $1 million cap hold off of the Knicks’ books.

Question: Do you think the Knicks should re-sign Toure’ Murry?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Interest shown in Toure' Murry

May, 27, 2014
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The name of one somewhat surprising New York Knicks player keeps coming in conversations around the league as the draft and free agency draw near.

Combo guard Toure' Murry, coming off his rookie season, is said to be on the radar of a handful of teams -- Chicago and Golden State among them -- that are hoping the shift in power in New York from the Knicks' previous administration to Phil Jackson leads to Murry becoming an unrestricted free agent.

ESPNNewYork.com reported last week that the Brooklyn Nets also have interest in Murry.

The Knicks can make Murry a restricted free agent and obviously increase their chances of keeping him by extending the Wichita State product a qualifying offer before June 29. In that scenario, New York could match any offer Murry received in free agency.

But if they decline to extend Murry a qualifying offer, he'll become an unrestricted free agent.

At 6-foot-5, Murry would figure to appeal to Jackson, who has always favored big guards not only in his triangle offense but for the physicality they can bring to the position.

Murry, 24, averaged a mere 2.7 points and 1.0 assists in 7.3 minutes per game last season but showed a glimpse of what he can do in the season's final two games, scoring 12.5 points per game and handing out 3.5 assists in 25.5 minutes in those appearances.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Knicks assign three to D-League

January, 29, 2014
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The Knicks announced that Cole Aldrich, Toure' Murry and Jeremy Tyler were assigned to the Erie BayHawks.

The Knicks want their three younger players to get some practice time in. They are expected to be recalled for Thursday's game against the Cavaliers.

Tyler had 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes during a blowout win over the Celtics on Tuesday. Aldrich and Murry scored two points each in the win.

Amar'e to play Saturday

December, 20, 2013
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire set the record straight regarding the health of his knees Friday, saying he feels "great" and IS ready to play against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

Confusion arose about Stoudemire's health earlier in the week when head coach Mike Woodson said the power forward was going to be out for "a while" due to swelling in his surgically repaired knees.

Stoudemire disputed Woodson's claim on Twitter, writing that he was "not injured" and just resting after playing five games in seven nights.

Woodson clarified later in the week, saying the misunderstanding was a "blip on my part" and saying the media "ran with" the story.

On Friday, Stoudemire and Woodson were on the same page. Stoudemire said his knee swelling was minimal and he was preparing to play against Memphis.

"There was no injury, nothing like that. Just a matter of resting," he said after Friday's practice.

The Knicks are being cautious with Stoudemire given his long history of knee ailments. He underwent three knee procedures in a 10-month period. Stoudemire began the season on a 10-minute restriction but is no longer player on a minutes restriction.

Stoudemire played four games in five nights last week for the first time this season. He then played last Monday against Washington and was seen limping in the second half.

The six-time All Star's play had improved prior to Monday's game. In the six games before the loss to the Wizards, Stoudemire averaged 14 points and five rebounds in 24.5 minutes.

"It's a little bit much going from limited minutes to no back-to-backs to two back-to-backs [in a week]," Stoudemire said. "[But] I've had a few days rest and I feel great."

Stoudemire added that he and Woodson talked to clear the air over any miscommunication.

“I think he thought it was something more ... I’m not sure. But we cleared it up and everything is great,” he said.

In other injury news, veteran forward Metta World Peace did not practice on Friday and is questionable for Saturday's game due to a sore left knee. Backup point guard Toure' Murry is also questionable with a sprained left ankle.

World Peace missed two games earlier this season with knee discomfort. He later revealed that he had fluid drained from his knee twice in a two-week period.

Murry sprained his ankle in the second half of the Knicks' win over Milwaukee on Wednesday. If he can't play Saturday, Woodson will turn to Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony to handle the ball behind starter Beno Udrih.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

How would you replace Prigioni?

December, 17, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Pablo Prigioni's toe injury puts the Knicks in an extremely tough spot. Prigoini is expected to miss at least two weeks with a hairline fracture of his big right toe.

With Raymond Felton (hamstring) already hurt, that leaves the Knicks with few options at point guard.

[+] EnlargePablo Prigioni
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesPablo Prigioni will miss at least two weeks with a hairline fracture of his big right toe.
Here is a look at what New York may do to replace Prigioni:

Players already on the roster: The Knicks can turn to Beno Udrih to start at point guard. But the veteran may not be conditioned well enough to play 35-40 minutes a night.

Woodson mentioned that he'd give rookie Toure' Murry a look as well. Murry had a solid showing in training camp and is viewed as a strong athlete who has the lateral quickness and length to guard the position well.

Woodson also said that Iman Shumpert will play some point guard.

Lastly, there is a possibility that the Knicks will call up Chris Smith, J.R.'s younger brother, from New York's D League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.

Trade market: Prior to Monday's game, two league sources told ESPN New York that talks between the Raptors and Knicks regarding Kyle Lowry had quieted down.

Could Prigioni's injury change that?

One league source with knowledge of the talks said prior to Monday's game that the Knicks weren't interested in dealing Tim Hardaway Jr. or a first-round pick to Toronto for Lowry, who is a free agent after this season.

But Prigioni's injury may force them to rethink their stance.

Free agency: There are players such as Sebastian Telfair, Delonte West and Mike James who are available. But the Knicks would need to cut a player to make room for a free-agent signee.

Question: How would you like to see the Knicks fill the void left by Prigioni?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

'Of course' being family helped, says Chris

October, 25, 2013
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Chris Smith knows being J.R. Smith's little brother has helped him retain a spot on the Knicks' roster.

"Has it helped me? Of course. That's my big brother/ People look for us to be together all the time. … He has helped me a lot," Chris said on Friday.

But he also believes his talent played a role as well, adding that he's bothered by the idea espoused by many that he's still on the Knicks' roster solely because he is J.R.'s little brother.

"It bothers me a lot because I think people don't really look at my talent. They just look at, 'J.R. is here and he's been here,'" he said.

It bothers me a lot because I think people don't really look at my talent, they just look at, 'J.R. is here and he's been here.'

-- Chris Smith
The Knicks released Chris Douglas-Roberts, C.J. Leslie, Jeremy Tyler, Josh Powell and Ike Diogu on Friday afternoon. For now, Smith, Toure' Murry and Cole Aldrich remain.

The Knicks can still waive Smith, Murry or Aldrich if they choose. Final regular-season rosters are due Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Woodson said earlier this week that Smith's relationship with his older brother will factor into whether the team keeps Smith on the 15-man roster. J.R. Smith said on Thursday that he hoped that it didn't factor in.

"I don't want that to come into play because that's a crutch for him, and that's an excuse for him to make the team," J.R. said. "I think that he should make the team based off his own talent and his own ability."

J.R. acknowledged on Thursday that his brother is in a difficult position, trying to make a team that employs a family member, and his little brother agrees.

"It's still difficult right now sitting in this seat," Chris said. "On Twitter, I can't even have a social media because people are coming at me because they think [I made the team because of my brother]. I feel like I earned my position on the team, and I'm going to keep on earning my way here."

An added layer to the team's decision to keep Smith is the former Louisville guard's ties to CAA.

CAA represents both Chris and J.R. and has close ties to the Knicks and Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and front office member Mark Warkentien are represented by the agency.

Some rival agents believe Chris' roster spot with the Knicks was locked in as a "package deal" when J.R. re-signed with the team in July.

Chris signed a nonguaranteed contract worth $490,180. According to several sources with knowledge of the deal, Smith's contract becomes guaranteed if he spends one day on the regular-season roster.

It's no stretch to say New York's decision to keep Smith, for now, is sure to be a controversial one.

Woody likes Aldrich's size: Woodson said the Knicks cut Diogu and opted to keep Aldrich because the former Kansas standout has more size (6-foot-11), is younger (24) and is a true center. The 30-year-old Diogu had a strong showing this preseason, so cutting him was a bit surprising.

However, Woodson said Friday that he feels comfortable with the team's depth at power forward. He mentioned Metta World Peace, Kenyon Martin, Andrea Bargnani, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony as players who can play minutes at power forward.

Tyler Time? Woodson also said there is a chance that the Knicks bring back Tyler once he's healthy. Tyler signed a partially-guaranteed deal with the Knicks over the summer but missed training camp with a broken bone in his foot.

"Once he gets healthy, we possibly could bring him back," Woodson said.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Quiet Murry makes another loud statement

October, 17, 2013
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Martell Webster, Toure MurryEvan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsToure' Murry continued a strong preseason with another standout performance Thursday.
BALTIMORE -- Toure' Murry is the kind of guy who does his talking on the court, and he made a loud statement on Thursday night.

Murry poured in 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 25 minutes for New York in a 98-89 win over Washington, leaving Carmelo Anthony, for one, impressed.

"He's a quiet guy, under-the-radar, [and] willing to learn each day. He comes in the gym, he works. His future is bright," Anthony said. "I'm a big fan of Toure'."

Mike Woodson has said the Knicks will keep at least one of the three big men they invited to training camp. The way Murry is playing, Woodson and the Knicks' brain trust may have to strongly consider keeping a guard as well.

"This is two back-to-back games that he played great," Woodson said of Murry. "I think once he actually learns the league and what defensive concepts are about, he's going to be a pretty good player because he's got the knack to score as well. He's a big point guard, two guard that can handle it and make plays and that's kind of nice in this league."

Murry's in a tough spot because the Knicks have three point guards on the roster. But Anthony suggested that Murry could be a perfect fit as a young player that the organization can develop.

"He's definitely a guy who can learn within the system playing behind Raymond [Felton], Pablo [Prigioni] and Beno [Udrih]," Anthony said. "If it happens, I think it would be big for him."

KNICKS LIKE IKE: Ike Diogu also had a strong showing on Thursday. He scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 23 minutes. Josh Powell continues to rack up blocked shots, finishing with two in 19 minutes against Washington. Cole Aldrich played just 3:33.

On Diogu, Woodson said, "I like that fact that he's physical and he can score a little bit and he's a good rebounder, so that's a plus for me."

HAPPY HOMECOMING: Anthony had had 22 points, five rebounds and four assist in 29 minutes. He was playing in his hometown of Baltimore for the first time as a pro.

"It was a great feeling being able to just come in and have that connection with the community. I was once one of them kids that grew up here so I can relate on a very different level," said Anthony, who spent Wednesday night hosting a renovation and basketball clinic at his community center in Baltimore.

SIT 'EM? Woodson said he wanted Felton (15 minutes) and Tyson Chandler (six) to rest on Thursday. He expects them to play 30-plus minutes on Monday against the Raptors.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Murry, Diogu make case for roster spots

October, 12, 2013
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Saturday night was a forgettable one for the Knicks.

They shot 33 percent from the floor and missed 15 of 18 3s in a 30-point loss to Boston.

But it's the preseason, so the final score doesn't really matter.

Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace and other regulars didn't play on Saturday. So many of the Knicks training camp invites had a chance to state their case for a roster spot.

Some failed to do so. But Toure' Murry and Ike Diogu took advantage.

Murry, who impressed Knicks coaches over the summer in Las Vegas, finished with 16 points in 31 minutes on 8-for-21 shooting. The Knicks also outscored the Celtics by three when Murry was on the floor. Looking at plus/minus stats in a single game often is misleading, but in a game that the Knicks lost by 30 points, Murry's plus-3 stands out.

Murry, though, might have a tough time making the regular-season roster. The Knicks have 12 guaranteed contracts and two players (C.J. Leslie and Jeremy Tyler) with contracts that are partially guaranteed.

Essentially, they have eight players battling for three roster spots.

Murry, a 6-foot-5 guard, is in a tough spot because Mike Woodson has said the Knicks have a "logjam" at both guard spots.

Ike Diogu doesn't face the same issue.

Diogu, a 6-foot-8 power forward, had a big night for New York on Saturday, scoring a game-high 21 points and pulling down eight rebounds. He made 11 trips to the free throw line.

Woodson has said that he's looking to add one of the three training camp bigs to the final roster. Diogu has looked strongest thus far. Josh Powell has played well in spots; Cole Aldrich hasn't done enough around the rim through three games.

So Diogu, it seems, separated himself on Saturday.

TOUGH NIGHT FOR TIM: Tim Hardaway Jr. struggled with his shot against Boston. He went 3-for-16 with nine points at the starting shooting guard spot. The first-round pick also had a few defensive lapses. He averaged 14.5 points per game in his first two preseason tilts.

Iman Shumpert also had a tough night, going 2-for-9 for six points. Andrea Bargnani also had several defensive lapses. He did hit his first 3-pointer of the preseason and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.2 3.1 1.0 35.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 6.6
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.7
StealsS. Larkin 1.2
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3