The Utah Jazz have seen the error of their ways when they were involved in a three-team trade with the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors last summer.
Along with last season’s NBA All-Defensive First-Team small forward Andre Iguodala, Tennessee Tech graduate Kevin Murphy was sent to Oakland before he had the chance to showcase his true potential with the Jazz.
However, he’ll have his moment in the sun during training camp at Salt Lake City as both sides have agreed to a minimum deal, which is reported to be between $840,00 with $65,000 guaranteed:
Utah Jazz signed Kevin Murphy today at $840k – $65k guaranteed – same # they guaranteed Dee Bost and Jack Cooley @BBallInsiders
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) August 25, 2014
The 24-year old Murphy has now joined a group of free agents that are striving to make a spot on the Jazz’s talented and promising roster.
But unlike Brock Motum, Dee Boost and Jack Cooley, Murphy has experience in the NBA.
Murphy, a 6’6″, 185-pound shooting guard was selected by the Jazz 47th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft following his senior year with the Golden Eagles.
Known for his ability to shoot the ball, Murphy excels in slashing into the paint and with his smooth shooting stroke. While Murphy isn’t considered to be a decorated defender on the other side of the court, his length and wingspan give him an advantage over smaller guards when contesting shots.
Murphy was immediately put into a situation in which he could make an impact early on as a freshman for Tech. Playing in 30 games, Murphy averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.6 minutes a night. He was named Tech’s Most Improved Player at the end of the season.
After being promoted to full-time starter his sophomore year at the guard position, Murphy led the team in points scored in a season with 491, which was fifth in the Ohio Valley conference. In 31.3 minutes per game, Murphy averaged 15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. he was later awarded the Best Offensive Player award for the Golden Eagles.
As a finalist for Tennessee Tech’s 2011-12 Outstanding Male Athlete Award, Murphy became the 16th player in OVC history to score 2,000 career points his senior year. He was listed second on the school’s all-time scoring list after averaging 20.6 points per game. He also shot 41.8 percent from beyond the arc and 72 percent from the line.
Following his late selection in the draft, Murphy played sparingly with the Jazz in 2012-13. Appearing in 17 games that were spread across the season, the Atlanta native could never find a niche that would have pushed him over the edge as a rookie. Playing in an average of 3.1 minutes a game, Murphy averaged 0.9 points and 0.2 rebounds.
Before being traded to the Warriors, Murphy spent time with the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate to freshen up his skills and to see more game time experience at the pro level, which proved to be a vital career move as he played in 34 games while averaging 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
Murphy also had a brief stint with the French basketball club Strasbourg IG before returning to the Stampede in the beginning of 2014.
If Murphy’s work ethic and attitude during training camp is enough for him to earn a roster spot in 2014-15, he’ll most likely be sitting on the bench as the second or third man on the depth chart behind Alec Burks,who had a resurgent season last year after finishing with 1,089 points total in 78 games played, compared to 2012-13 in which he only recorded 451 points in 64 games.
Utah has already exercise their option to keep Ian Clark for this season as supposed to waiving the 6’3″, 173-pound shooting guard so there will be competition as the next man in at the two-spot between Clark and Murphy.
A rotation player at best, Clark finished the 2013 campaign with three points per game in 23 games played, so considering that the 23-year old is better statistically in the NBA, he currently has the edge over Murphy as the season gets underway.