Brian Windhorst, a reporter for (notably) ESPN.com’s Heat Index, reported early Monday morning that Troy Murphy was bought out by Golden State on Sunday and that the bidding had come down to the Celtics and Heat. Nothing new, just nice to hear that those terrifying/totally nonsensical reports that Murphy was going to stay in Golden State weren’t true.
Murphy is now on waivers for 48 hours, during which nobody will claim him (only teams that can afford his $11 million salary under the cap would be allowed to, and that’s only the Kings, and they’re not really looking for ways to spend money right now). After that he’s free to sign wherever he wants.
Neither the Celtics or Heat have the Mid-Level Exception available (hey Jerm!!), so that means they’re both offering the prorated veteran’s minimum to Murphy, which is about three hundo grando. That means that when you hear about these teams “bidding” against each other for Murphy’s services, they’re not actually bidding at all: they’re each just trying to offer Murphy a sweeter playing situation and a better shot at winning a title. I don’t understand why more news outlets don’t make clear that the “bidding” process DOESN’T INVOLVE OFFERING MORE MONEY AND THEREFORE IS NOT BIDDING.
As far as which team presents a better situation for Murphy, they both need him, but the Celtics need him profoundly. I posted a few days ago about how the Perkins trade shifted rebounding from a nagging issue to a major concern, and I’d like to spend some more time on that topic this week. But suffice it to say that Troy Murphy, if he is the excellent rebounder he consistently was over the last two seasons in Indiana, would make a huge difference on that front for either the Heat or this new Celtics team. Meaning that his signing could easily dictate:
A) Playoff positioning
B) A playoff series
I don’t mean to put too much weight on the events of the next few days, but I also absolutely mean to do that. The Celtics had Murphy on their radar even before the trade, because of their dwindling frontcourt depth and rebounding concerns. Then they went ahead and made those concerns dramatically more concerning, so Murphy’s probably even more of a priority now than he was then. It really does seem like they made the Perkins deal with Murphy in mind, so maybe this is the thing we’ve all been assuming Ainge knew that we didn’t.
Some positive signs to tide you over for the next 48 hours:
- Ric Bucher SportsNationChatted a few days ago that he heard Murphy was “headed Boston’s way.”
- Marc Stein SteinTweeted that he “gives Boston an edge” to sign Murphy, except notes that the Heat are making a “hard push.”
- The Heat have 15 players with guaranteed contracts, so they’d have to waive somebody. Not that they don’t have some expendable junk on their active roster (Magliore, Howard), it’s just that they haven’t made the moves to open up space yet, and the C’s have.
- Every mention of Murphy’s future I’ve seen lists Boston first among his possible destinations. The alphabet could be a factor here.
Some obnoxious negativity to balance it out:
- Troy Murphy is not a good post defender. If they signed him, they’d still be left with one (1) healthy post defender in Kevin Garnett.
- He couldn’t find playing time in New Jersey (this probably has more to do with Avery Johnson’s habit of arbitrarily shuttling players in and out of his doghouse on a whim than anything else).
Probably the best thing about a Troy Murphy signing:
- Troy Murphy is known to be one of the NBA’s craziest people and would finally establish the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics as the craziest team in NBA history without argument. Here’s substantially more evidence than I need to support that claim: