So far today, the international rumor mill is a little busier than the NBA version, so let's round up a few of the latest reports on various teams overseas….
- Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports that unrestricted free agent Kevin Murphy will sign with France's SIG Strasbourg. Murphy was selected by the Jazz in the second round of last year's draft, and spent time in both Utah and Reno, with the D-League's Bighorns. The 23-year-old guard was included as the only outgoing piece from Utah to Golden State in the trade that landed the Jazz several expiring contracts and future draft picks, and was later waived by the Warriors.
- 6'9" forward Gani Lawal has signed with VEF Riga of Latvia, according to the team (hat tip to Sportando). After being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Suns, Lawal appeared in just one regular-season game for Phoenix, but had reportedly been drawing NBA interest again this offseason.
- Former Celtics big man JaJuan Johnson has signed with Italy's Giorgio Tesi Pistoia, the team announced (translation via Sportando). Johnson was drafted 27th overall in 2011 and spent the 2011/12 season in Boston before being included last summer in the three-way trade that sent Courtney Lee to the C's. After being cut by the Rockets, Johnson played for three D-League teams in '12/13.
The Warriors have waived Dwayne Jones, Scott Machado and Kevin Murphy, the team announced today. Jones and Machado were late-season signings from this past spring, while Murphy joined the team as part of a three-team trade two weeks ago.
All three were on non-guaranteed minimum-salary contracts, but they all would have received at least a partial guarantee if Golden State hadn't waived them on or before August 1st. The contracts for Jones and Machado would have become fully guaranteed if they had stayed on the roster past that date, while Murphy's would have been guaranteed for $75K.
The team's roster is at 13 players, which gives Golden State plenty of flexibility heading into training camp. Teams can have as many as 20 players on their camp rosters, a limit that shrinks to 15 for the regular season. The Warriors have a hard cap this season, but the subtraction of a few minimum-salary players won't make too much of a difference considering they were more than $7MM shy of the hard cap before today's moves.
None of the three saw significant playing time last season. Jones and Machado didn't make it into any regular season games with the Warriors, instead appearing only briefly during the playoffs. Machado did play in six regular season contests during his stint with the Rockets in 2012/13. Murphy spent 2012/13 with the Jazz, who made him the 47th pick of the 2012 draft.
JULY 10TH, 4:40pm: Utah's agreement with the Warriors has been finalized and has been rolled into a separate deal, both teams confirmed. The breakdown:
JULY 5TH, 4:36pm: Both first-rounders the Jazz are acquiring in the deal will be unprotected, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
4:01pm: The Warriors will send their 2014 and 2017 first-round picks to the Jazz, tweets Wojnarowski. Multiple second-rounders will also go to Utah in the deal, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).
3:27pm: Murphy will be sent to the Warriors in the trade, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Meanwhile, Wojnarowski tweets that multiple draft picks are headed to the Jazz, including a 2014 first-rounder.
3:23pm: Brandon Rush is also headed to Utah in the deal, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. Shedding Rush's salary as well will give Golden State room under the cap to sign Iguodala.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com adds (via Twitter) that the Warriors will receive a non-guaranteed contract from Utah in the trade. That player will be either Kevin Murphy or Jerel McNeal.
2:57pm: The Warriors have reached an agreement on a salary-dump trade with the Jazz, according to Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson will be heading to Utah in the deal, reports TNT's David Aldridge (via Twitter).
Rumors relating to the Warriors' trade talks with the Jazz had been swirling all day, as Golden State looked for a way to clear cap space to make a run at Dwight Howard and/or Andre Iguodala. The team ended up reaching an agreement to bring Iguodala aboard, and hasn't been entirely ruled out of the race for Howard.
The Jazz are recalling Kevin Murphy from their D-League affiliate, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Murphy had been playing for the Reno Bighorns since being assigned by Utah on November 26th.
When Murphy was assigned to the D-League by the Jazz, GM Dennis Lindsey noted that he wanted to see the second-round pick operate as a team player, rather than dominating the ball and trying to rack up points. In 14 games, including 12 starts, for the Bighorns, Murphy averaged 13.2 PPG on .446/.350/.775 shooting.
Here's a look at some items out of the Western Conference..
- Stephen Curry says that the Warriors' trade of Monta Ellis to the Bucks has significantly changed his approach to the game, writes Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld. Now more of a playmaker, Curry has embraced his adjusted role in Golden State. “The backcourt that we have, we mesh well together, especially with Jarrett [Jack] coming off the bench, so it’s been a different look, but we are getting used to each other and we are playing well," Curry explained. The club's acquisition in that trade, Andrew Bogut, figures to give them a major defensive boost upon his return.
- John Canzano of The Oregonian opines that the Blazers need to ease the burden placed on star big man LaMarcus Aldridge in order to help guard against his potential departure. Aldridge is under contract for $60MM through three more seasons and has yet to win a playoff series in Portland.
- For guard Kevin Murphy to return to the Jazz, General Manager Dennis Lindsey says that he hopes to see the rookie operate as a team player rather than a "pig scorer", write Brian T. Smith, Steve Luhm, and Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune. Murphy was demoted to the D-League earlier today and will be in Reno for a minimum of five games.
- One of the Blazers' biggest problems is that they have been unable to develop their recent draft picks into true contributors, tweets Mike Tokito of The Oregonian. The new CBA places extra emphasis on teams being able to get strong production out of their reasonably-priced younger players, which is obviously essential for a smaller-market team.
Let's check out a few items from around the Association as we prepare for an eight-game evening slate….
- Although we heard on Friday that Dario Saric's contract in Croatia wouldn't have an NBA out until 2014, Saric confirmed today that his new deal will include an NBA out after every season. Saric, who ranks 16th on DraftExpress.com's big board for 2013, indicated that he'd declare for the draft next season if he receives a top-10 guarantee, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.
- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper notes (on Twitter) that one NBA executive has Saric in his current top 10, but that he's hardly a lock, and plenty can change between now and next June.
- In an Insider piece at ESPN.com, Jay Bilas and Chad Ford debate which college prospect is the early favorite to be picked first overall next June, and discuss a few more draft topics.
- Kevin Murphy, who was assigned to the D-League today, will be with the Reno Bighorns for at least five games, according to Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey (Twitter link via Jody Genessy of the Deseret News).
- Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops fills out a hypothetical roster made up of the NBA's worst contracts.
- Mardy Collins, who played in parts of four seasons for the Knicks and Clippers after being drafted 29th overall in 2006, has reached an agreement to play for Israel's Maccabi Ashdod, reports David Pick of Sportando.
- Lakers offseason acquisitions Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison have begun to thrive under new coach Mike D'Antoni, says Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Medina adds that there's still no set timetable for Steve Nash's return.
MONDAY, 11:48am: The Jazz have officially assigned Murphy to the Bighorns, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News confirms (via Twitter).
SATURDAY, 4:25pm: The Jazz will send rookie Kevin Murphy to the Reno Bighorns, their D-League affiliate, on Monday as long as the twisted ankle that knocked Mo Williams out of last night's game with the Kings is not too severe, tweets Jody Genessey of the Deseret News. The assignment would be Utah's first of the season.
The Jazz drafted Murphy, a 6'6" swingman from Tennessee Tech, with the 47th overall pick in the draft. He signed a minimum-salary contract that's partially guaranteed for $200K this year and fully non-guaranteed for 2013/14.
Murphy has played just nine minutes in three games for the Jazz thus far, and Utah's backcourt just got more crowded with last night's return of Earl Watson from injury. When the move becomes official, we'll add it to our list of D-League assignments and recalls from the entire league.
The Northwest Division promises to be one of the most competitive in the league during the 2012/13 season. The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to defend their Western Conference championship; the Denver Nuggets added Andre Iguodala to an already deep team; and the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves made key offseason changes that should have them in the playoff hunt. Here is the latest chatter from up north on Tuesday afternoon:
- Mike Sorensen of the Desert News writes that second-year center Enes Kanter is impressing Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin in training camp.
- Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune has a feature on Jazz second-round pick Kevin Murphy, who is fighting for a roster spot with the team.
- Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune examines the improved shooting stroke of DeMarre Carroll this offseason.
- Iguodala has taken on a leadership role in his first training camp as a Nugget, writes Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.
- The Oregonian's Joe Freeman reports (via Twitter) that Blazers coach Terry Stotts will limit all of his players to one half of action during Portland's preseason opener on Wednesday.
10:16pm: The contract of second-round pick Kevin Murphy isn't guaranteed, Smith writes, so that means the Jazz only have 14 fully guaranteed contracts, including Raja Bell's. That provides a little extra room for one of the camp invitees to make the team.
8:54pm: The Jazz will bring point guard Chris Quinn to training camp, reports Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). The addition of Quinn, likely on a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary deal, brings the team's roster to 19 players. Quinn will likely compete for the final regular season roster spot with Trey Gilder, Darnell Jackson and Brian Butch, whose signings were officially announced via press release, as Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld notes via Twitter. Gilder and Jackson appeared close to invites earlier this month, while the signing of Butch was reportedly confirmed a few days ago.
Quinn has spent parts of five seasons in the NBA, with the Heat, Nets and finally the Spurs, with whom he made his last NBA appearance in 2010/11. The 6'2" 29-year-old averaged 4.6 points and 1.9 assists in 13.8 minutes per game with a 12.5 PER over his NBA career. He spent last season with Khimki BC in Russia, and put up 7.3 PPG and 2.9 APG in 19.4 MPG.
The Jazz have 15 fully guaranteed contracts, though one of them belongs to Raja Bell, who is attempting to negotiate a buyout. If he's successful, that would leave a spot open for Quinn, Gilder, Jackson or Butch, Teams aren't obligated to carry more than 13 players, though, so all of the recent signees must impress in order to stick around.
6:32pm: The Jazz have officially confirmed that they've signed Murphy, though terms of the deal were not released. Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune first reported the signing once it became official (via Twitter).
4:34pm: The Jazz are close to a deal with Kevin Murphy, whom they took with the 47th pick in June's draft, reports Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). The 6'6" Murphy averaged 20.6 points and 5.2 rebounds as a senior for Tennessee Tech last year.
Fellow Salt Lake Tribune scribe Brian T. Smith reported the two sides were making progress on a deal back in August, and that the Jazz were hopeful to have him in camp. If they want to go above the minimum to sign him, the Jazz could use part of their mid-level exception, since they have $2.5MM left after giving $2.5MM to Randy Foye earlier in the summer. The Jazz currently have 14 players on fully guaranteed deals, so bringing in Murphy would put them at the 15-man regular season limit.
Most of the second-round picks who have signed this year have gotten the minimum salary or slightly more in the first year of their deals, followed by one or two more non-guaranteed seasons at the minimum, so Murphy could be in line for a deal with a similar framework. He was one of a handful of unsigned picks when I provided an update on second-rounders earlier this month.