With the trade deadline just eight days away, the rumor mill is slowing but surely beginning to turn and the shorthanded C’s are, as expected, in the conversation. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports the C’s would be interested in pursuing Richard Hamilton and Troy Murphy if they are bought out from their pricy contracts.
The Hornets will likely be in pursuit of New Jersey Nets forward Troy Murphy once the Nets reach a buyout agreement with him after the trade deadline. Nets coach Avery Johnson made clear he didn’t want Murphy after the three-team trade that brought him from the Indiana Pacers. Trade talks have gone nowhere for Murphy, who has an expiring contract. Nets GM Billy King will ultimately work a buyout to free Murphy to sign elsewhere.
In addition to the Hornets, several other teams are expected to show interest in Murphy, including the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks, sources said. …
Richard Hamilton will have to be willing to give back a significant portion of the two years, $25 million owed him to get a buyout on his contract. Sources said the Celtics still remain intrigued with Hamilton as a scorer off the bench.
CH’s Analysis: Chalk this interest up in the no surprise department, when it comes to Danny Ainge and late season signees. He’s gone the buyout route several times in the past three years with mixed results, but it’s safe to say both of these guys have the potential to provide a helpful boost off the bench down the stretch, but only one is a realistic option.
We’ll start with Murphy, who is the much more likely candidate to be bought out in the first place, with his trade stock at rock bottom since being benched by Avery Johnson in December.
On the surface, some might wonder what use the C’s would have for the aging Murphy that hasn’t played in months, but you have to take into consideration just how many C’s bigs are vulnerable right now. Shaq’s Achilles’ has shown no signs of improving, it’s unclear what the C’s will get from Jermaine O’Neal upon his return from surgery and Semih is still battling a pu pu platter of ailments.
You can never have enough pitching in baseball, and if you’re the C’s you can’t have too many bigs. Murphy would be a sizable upgrade over Luke Harangody and that alone makes him worthy of bringing into the fold if available. Would the C’s cut Harangody to sign him if they had to? That’s another complicated question, but one I lean yes towards.
Doc Rivers loves to have a big with three-point range and that’s exactly what Murphy could provide off the bat while allowing the bench unit to help spread the floor. He and Shaq could be a nightmare defensively, but on the offensive end with Big Baby, it’d give Rivers plenty of appealing options for a player that averaged a double-double last year. He may not be P.J. Brown, but he can’t be any worse than Mikki Moore……right?
As for Hamilton, there’s no question he’d give any bench a huge boost, but I don’t see a buyout happening here. The guy still has one more year on his deal for over 11 million dollars and he’s not going to leave a lot of that money on the table, especially given the certain future of the CBA. It’s nice to think about but consider Hamilton a pipe dream for the C’s…..or any team for that matter in a buyout…for now.
More to come on these guys upcoming…..