Things just tend to never slow down for the Mavericks this year. Veteran forward Troy Murphy reached an agreement on a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday evening, according to Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. It was reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com that the Mavericks would waive newly acquired center Eddy Curry, not guard Dominique Jones, to make room for Troy Murphy on the 15-man roster. Things were finally made official late Friday afternoon. By letting Curry go, the new acquisition gives the appearance that Chris Kaman’s return to the lineup could be imminent.
Murphy, 32, has experience playing for coach Rick Carlisle. He played for Carlisle with the Indiana Pacers in 2006-07, averaging 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds after arriving in a midseason trade from the Golden State Warriors. Additionally, he has experience playing for assistant coach Jim O’Brien. He played 220 games for O’Brien where he averaged 13.7 points/game, 9.7 rebounds/game and shot 41.3 percent from three-point range.
In a moment where they could have gone with guys such as Brian Cardinal or Yi Jianlian (Former Mavericks who are without an NBA gig at the moment), they went with Troy Murphy. While holding career averages of 10.9 points/game, 7.9 rebounds/game while shooting 39.0 percent from three point range in his 11 year NBA career (715 games, 480 starts), Murphy has tailed off during the last two years in the league. He only averaged 16.2 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers and scored 3.2 points/game.
While having the ability to play the center in a small ball lineup, Murphy appears to be more of a natural fit at the power forward position. He does provide the Mavericks the ability to have a little more versatility in the front line. If Murphy still has the ability to be a contributor in terms of a rebounder, it would allow big man Elton Brand to be able to move up to the center position. Rebounding has been a major issue for the Mavericks as they have been outrebounded 107-80 through the first two games of the season. “We need rebounding and we need shooting, and he’s a veteran guy that’s proven in both of those areas,” coach Carlisle said when describing Murphy.
In another case of if…, if Murphy still has the shooting touch, he, along with Dirk Nowitzki, gives the Mavericks another forward who could stretch the floor via three-point range. It seems like he would be a fit to be a backup to Dirk to continuously leave that available skill set on the floor, though being only in theory. He wouldn’t automatically become the primary backup to Dirk, but he would be another option. Brand could float between both big positions, but it seems like the logical placement for him would be as a backup center to Chris Kaman, a role that was originally designed for him before injuries piled up.
The move to acquire Murphy, as long as he plays well, likely signals the short term end of activity on the floor in an NBA game for Bernard James. While rookie Jae Crowder appears to have a general comfort level when he’s on the floor, it appears that James still has a ways to go to get to that kind of comfort level. He’ll have the ability to continue his develop his game in Frisco if he’s assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.
As Marc Stein reported, Dominique Jones remains on the roster. That news comes to the chagrin of many fans, but he’s still a body that provides help in a position of need. He’s an injury to Darren Collison or Roddy Beaubois away from being thrust into a position where he’ll be playing. It appears that situation could come sooner than people think as Roddy had to leave Friday’s practice due to turning his left ankle. That is the same left ankle that bothered him during training camp. He got tangled up with Vince Carter and had to miss the final portion of the practice.
Troy Murphy will be present at the team’s morning shootaround on Saturday as they prepare for the Charlotte Bobcats in the team’s home opener. He will have one shootaround before officially playing for the team, like Eddy Curry. Murphy comes in, Curry heads out and Roddy is in a state of to be determined. As I’ve said numerous times, there’s never a dull moment this year in Dallas. Tune in tomorrow for another episode of These are the Days of the Dallas Mavericks.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.