<
>

Murphy era ends in New Jersey

2/24/2011

The Troy Murphy era is finally over.

The New Jersey Nets dealt Murphy to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Brandan Wright and center Dan Gazuric. New Jersey will also sacrifice its second-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Numerous reports have stated that Murphy will likely be bought out, allowing him the freedom to sign with a playoff contender. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Boston, Miami, Orlando and the New York Knicks will all be suitors for Murphy's services.

The 30-year-old veteran was acquired by the Nets in an offseason three-way trade that sent Courtney Lee to the Houston Rockets. He was supposed to hold down the fort until rookie power forward Derrick Favors was ready to move into the starting lineup.

But various injuries derailed those hopes, and Murphy quickly lost his spot in the rotation to emerging reserve Kris Humphries. Murphy played in just 18 games, struggling to knock down shots during his limited playing time.

He last appeared in a game on Jan. 7. Murphy had not been with the Nets since they embarked on a four-game roadtrip on Jan. 12.

At the time, Murphy was supposed to wind up with the Detroit Pistons in a three-team blockbuster that would've landed the Nets Carmelo Anthony. However, owner Mikhail Prohkorov nixed those talks.

Still, Murphy remained home.

While Murphy didn't publicly request a trade, general manager Billy King said he'd try to move Murphy to another team.

It just took longer than he expected.

Murphy's $11.9 million contract made him a difficult player to move, and it's become clear that King wanted to try and acquire an asset for him, rather than buying him out.

He landed a raw player in Wright that may fit that bill. The 23-year-old will be a restricted free agent at season's end.

"We are very pleased to add Dan and Brandan to our roster," said King. "Dan is an NBA veteran who will add depth to our frontcourt rotation, while Brandan is a young player who we feel has significant room to grow and develop in our system."

Gadzuric provides the team some toughness up front. Like Murphy, his contract will expire at the end of the season.

Murphy always handled his tumultuous situation with the utmost professionalism. The thing that always appeared to befuddle Murphy was the lack of communication between him and head coach Avery Johnson throughout the process.

In the end, it is ironic that both Favors and Murphy were moved on Wednesday, and Humphries, who started the season third on the team's power forward depth chart, became the starter.

Considering that Murphy had been a 15-point, 10-rebound per game performer last season, it appears he could regain his form. He probably has been working out at home, staying as sharp as he can.

Many teams have a need for a four-man that can stretch the defense. And with his perimeter shooting prowess, Murphy, a career 39.1 percent 3-point bomber, can provide that.

We'll see what happens with the Sparta, N.J. native. Maybe he'll be able to flourish in a different setting.