Toure’ Murry Rumors

Western Notes: Brooks, Clippers, Waiters

January 10 at 2:57pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Though he’s unlikely to be fired mid-season, Thunder coach Scott Brooks‘ job is definitely on the line this year, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes. Tramel cites the Thunder’s disappointing record, and how the team has regressed even after getting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back from injuries, as major reasons why Brooks’ days in OKC could be numbered.

Here’s the latest out of the Western Conference:

  • Toure’ Murry, who was waived by the Jazz earlier this month, was acquired by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League, the team announced. Rio Grande Valley is the D-League affiliate of the Rockets.
  • The Warriors were one of the Wolves‘ most aggressive suitors for Kevin Love prior to him being dealt to Cleveland, but Love still isn’t sure how close he was to heading to Oakland, Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle writes. “I know that they were a team that was in talks,” Love said. “But that’s really as far as it got.” Love definitely appreciates just how talented a squad Golden State has, Simmons adds. “They’re a great team,” Love said. “They’re a fun team to watch. They get up and down the floor. They shoot the three ball really well. They have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things.”
  • Dion Waiters said that he learned that he had been traded to the Thunder after the starting lineup had been announced and the Cavs’ game against the Sixers was just about to begin, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports notes (Twitter link). Waiters still wanted to play in the game, but wasn’t permitted to for obvious reasons, Spears adds.
  • In light of president of basketball operations Neil Olshey‘s brand new contract extension, Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders looks at the success that Olshey has had during his tenure with the Blazers.
  • The Clippers sent $300K to the Sixers as part of the Jared Cunningham deal, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger isn’t happy that trade talks have leaked to the media, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal tweets. “It’s a major distraction,” Joerger said. “Things like that should be kept behind closed doors. It ticks me off.

Knicks Rumors: ‘Melo, Shumpert, Smith

January 7 at 12:02pm CST By Chuck Myron

It’s likely that the Knicks will eventually decide to shut down Carmelo Anthony for the rest of the season so he can rest his sore left knee, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. ‘Melo plans to return January 15th for New York’s game against the Bucks, but he acknowledged that if he’s still feeling pain once he starts playing again, he might undergo surgery, as Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. A long season is just getting longer for the 5-32 Knicks, who top our Reverse Standings with the league’s worst record. Here’s more from New York:

  • Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, traded Monday to the Cavs, were probably ‘Melo’s closest friends on the Knicks, Berman writes in the same piece. “When I first committed back to New York, it’s something I always said I have to trust they know what they’re doing,” Anthony said today. “That was one of the reasons I wanted to come back. So here’s an opportunity with the trust. Everything starts now.‘’
  • The Knicks worried that Smith’s poor work ethic and Samuel Dalembert‘s frequent tardiness to practices would be negative influences on the team’s younger players, sources tell Beck for the above-linked piece.
  • Team president Phil Jackson asked Knicks players at the end of last season to identify a reliable second-best player on the team after ‘Melo, and no consensus emerged, Beck also writes.
  • There’s a “slight chance” the Knicks will re-sign Lance Thomas to a 10-day contract should he clear waivers, Berman tweets. New York is set to waive Thomas, as well as Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson.
  • The D-League affiliate of the Knicks is unlikely to trade for the rights to Toure’ Murry, which belong to Houston’s D-League affiliate, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). Murry is reportedly joining the D-League after having been waived by the Jazz this past weekend.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Anthony, Murry

January 6 at 5:30pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Team president Phil Jackson demanded a five-year deal and a promise that owner James Dolan wouldn’t meddle before the Zen Master agreed to join the Knicks this past spring, and that’s looking like a wise bargain from Jackson’s end, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes. Jackson has the leeway necessary for the tear-down he’s undertaking, one that’s necessary for the Knicks to once again contend for titles, Deveney opines.

Here’s the latest out of NYC:

  • The removal of talent surrounding Carmelo Anthony makes it more likely that the Knicks will have Anthony miss the rest of the season so he can rehabilitate his sore knee, argues Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal.
  • While the return that the Knicks received for dealing away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert was underwhelming, Jackson made the deal because he and his staff feared that if the Cavaliers got hot as a team, they would potentially lose interest in acquiring those players, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Jackson was also afraid that if Smith’s injury lingered, then he would become untradeable, Berman also notes.
  • Jackson’s first season as team president will be remembered for all the cap room that he cleared, but his true test as an executive will be how he puts it to use this coming summer, Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post writes.
  • The Knicks’ trade of Smith and Shumpert signifies that the franchise is working toward the future once again, instead of angling for a playoff berth, Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press writes. This feels like a repeat of what transpired six years ago, when the Knicks traded Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford to set themselves up for a shot at LeBron James in the summer of 2010, a plan that backfired, Mahoney adds.
  • Toure’ Murry is entering the D-League, and the Knicks affiliate is likely to claim him via the waiver process, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Murry, who was recently waived by the Jazz, appeared in 51 games for New York during the 2013/14 campaign, averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 assist in 7.3 minutes per contest.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Murry, Randle, Green

January 5 at 5:23pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Jazz waived Toure’ Murry yesterday, and his agent, Bernie Lee, doesn’t think Murry was given a fair chance in Utah, Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype reports. “Utah just didn’t see value in giving [Toure'] a real opportunity to prove himself, which is their right,” Lee said. “I had a sense things were working against him early when during the Jazz’s first open scrimmage in the preseason the team-employed radio voice used the forum to crush his future NBA prospects. Just an odd situation through and through. He went to Utah as a young developing point guard who played 51 games for an extremely visible team and today leaves Utah having played his last game as an assigned player in the NBADL [D-League] having been asked to play the four.  Perspective and opportunity are a funny thing in basketball.”

Lee also added that Murry will explore free agent opportunities if he clears waivers, Sierra notes. “If there isn’t a spot for him immediately, he will enter the NBA D-League and go on to continue to develop and prove himself as an NBA-caliber PG.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Lakers rookie Julius Randle is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to replace the screw in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, the team announced. This injury was a source of concern from NBA teams leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, and possibly caused Randle’s stock to fall, Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes. Randle was already out for the season thanks to a broken leg he suffered during his first regular season game.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr has nothing but praise for Draymond Green, who is almost assuredly set to garner a huge pay raise when he hits restricted free agency this summer, Rusty Simmons of The San Franciso Chronicle writes. When asked if Green could be named Defensive Player of the Year, Kerr said, “I wouldn’t argue with that. Draymond has to be mentioned for a lot of different things because of the impact he’s had. Most Improved Player would be a possibility. I don’t know if he’s going to make the All-Star team, but he would have my vote. He’s just been brilliant, and he represents kind of who we are as a team — the versatility, the scrapping, the toughness.
  • Spurs rookie Kyle Anderson was expected to spend more time in the D-League than in the NBA this season, but injuries to key players have altered those plans, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes.

Jazz Waive Toure’ Murry

January 4 at 11:16am CST By Chuck Myron

11:16am: The move is official, the team announced.

9:21am: The Jazz will waive Toure’ Murry, a league source tells Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal (Twitter link). Presumably, the move will be to clear room on the roster for Elijah Millsap, whom the team is set to sign. Murry inked a two-year, $2MM deal over the summer, but only $250K of it was guaranteed. However, he’s already earned more than that partial guarantee, so the Jazz won’t be responsible for any additional salary to Murry should they waive him by 4pm Central on Wednesday, when NBA teams must waive non-guaranteed contracts or guarantee them for the remainder of the season.

Murry, who’s seen only one minute in one game so far for Utah in the regular season, has spent about three weeks’ worth of time in the D-League. The 6’5″ guard saw somewhat more action for the Knicks last season, putting up 2.7 points in 7.3 minutes per game across 51 appearances. That experience clearly impressed the Jazz, who saw fit to give the undrafted talent out of Wichita State his partially guaranteed deal for more than the minimum, but that’s failed to translate into playing time for him in Utah. His name was in trade rumors related to Andrei Kirilenko before the Nets instead dealt Kirilenko to the Sixers.

Utah has injury troubles in the backcourt with Alec Burks gone for the season and Patrick Christopher nursing a dislocated right kneecap that has him out indefinitely. Rodney Hood missed Saturday’s game with a sore left heel. It’s somewhat surprising that the Jazz apparently plan to cut ties with another guard just as they’re set to bring aboard Millsap, a swingman, but with Trey Burke, Dante Exum, Gordon Hayward and Ian Clark available to play guard, Utah doesn’t have a particularly dire need.

D-League Notes: Kuzmic, Johnson, Young

January 3 at 3:00pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The D-League has become an integral part of the NBA’s process of developing younger players, as well as a source for locating hidden gems to bolster rosters during the course of the season. You can easily stay on top of which players are coming and going from the D-League all season by checking out our 2014/15 D-League Assignments, Recalls tracker, which is updated daily. You can also find this page anytime on the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features.”

Here are the latest D-League moves:

  • The Warriors have assigned Ognjen Kuzmic to the Santa Cruz Warriors, their D-League affiliate, the team announced in a press release. This will be Kuzmic’s third trip of the season to Santa Cruz.
  • Toure’ Murry has been recalled by the Jazz from the Idaho Stampede, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This was his second assignment to Idaho this season, and in seven D-League games Murry has averaged 13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists.
  • The Celtics have assigned James Young to the Maine Red Claws, the team announced. This will be Young’s eighth trip of the season to the D-League.
  • Nick Johnson has been assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets‘ D-League affiliate, the team has announced (Twitter link). This will be Johnson’s second stint in the D-League of the season.

D-League Notes: Dinwiddie, Vonleh, Suns

December 31 2014 at 8:59pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The D-League is becoming an integral part of the NBA’s process of developing younger players, as well as a source for locating hidden gems to bolster rosters during the course of the season. You can easily stay on top of which players are coming and going from the D-League all season by checking out our 2014/15 D-League Assignments, Recalls tracker, which is updated daily. You can also find this page anytime on the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features.”

Here are the latest D-League moves:

  • The Pistons have assigned Spencer Dinwiddie to the Grand Rapids Drive, their D-League affiliate, the team announced in a press release. Dinwiddie has appeared in eight games for Detroit this season, averaging 3.0 points and 12.4 minutes per game.
  • The Suns have recalled Tyler Ennis, T.J. Warren, and Archie Goodwin from the Bakersfield Jam, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This was the second trip to Bakersfield of the season for Ennis and Warren, and Goodwin’s inaugural journey.
  • Noah Vonleh has been recalled from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, the Hornets have announced. Vonleh saw action in two games with the Mad Ants, averaging 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block in 13.0 minutes per game. With Al Jefferson set to miss at least a month, Vonleh will likely see increased action with Charlotte.
  • Toure’ Murry has been assigned to the Idaho Stampede, the Jazz‘s D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This will be Murry’s second sojourn of the season to the D-League. In six games for the Stampede, Murry has averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals in 31.5 minutes of play.

Jazz Enter Andrei Kirilenko Trade Picture?

December 5 2014 at 6:24pm CST By Chuck Myron

DECEMBER 5th, 6:24pm: Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link) reports that league sources have informed him that it is “very possible” the Jazz will acquire Kirilenko in exchange for Evans and Murry when the players are eligible to be dealt on December 15th. The Russian forward had returned to the Nets on December 1st after leaving the team to deal with an undisclosed family matter back in New York. This absence clouded the trade talk surrounding Kirilenko, since teams were unsure if he would be willing and able to report to them in the event of a deal.

4:22pm: A source tells the Nets Daily scribe that the Nets and the Jazz haven’t spoken about Kirilenko, and a second source also casts doubt on Stein’s report, Windrem also writes.

NOVEMBER 24th, 8:37am: One of the options in play for the Nets should they opt to trade Andrei Kirilenko would be swapping him to the Jazz for Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Evans, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Such a deal couldn’t take place until December 15th at the earliest, because Murry signed with Utah in the offseason. The Utah possibility advances the notion that the Sixers aren’t the only team in the mix for the 33-year-old Russian-born forward. Reports Friday indicated that preliminary talks had taken place between Brooklyn and Philadelphia, but little progress has taken place in those discussions, according to Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.

Nets swingman Sergey Karasev was also a part of the conversation involving the Sixers, but Stein didn’t mention him with regard to the Jazz. The Russian ownership of the Nets is enamored with Karasev, who like Kirilenko hails from their country, writes Robert Windrem of Nets Daily. That’s a sentiment apparently shared by others around the league, as an NBA front office source suggested to Lynam that the Nets would probably be able receive a future first-round pick for Karasev, while another told her that Brooklyn was more likely to merit two future second-rounders for him. The Nets are on the lookout for draft picks and are unlikely to relinquish the ones they already have, particularly their first-round picks, according to Windrem, and teams are offering picks for Kirilenko, Windrem writes in a separate piece. The Cavs are reportedly sniffing around Kirilenko, but it’s not clear if they’re among those putting picks on the table.

Murry has been on D-League assignment since November 13th, averaging 14.5 points in 30.3 minutes per game for the Idaho Stampede. The second-year guard has yet to play in a game for Utah after spending last season with the Knicks and signing with the Jazz in the offseason for two years and $2MM, with only $250K of this year’s $1MM guaranteed. Evans, a combo forward, is in his fifth NBA season, all of which have been with the Jazz, and he has seen just 13 minutes of action across five appearances for Utah so far this year. He’s making nearly $1.795MM in fully guaranteed salary in the final season of a three-year contract.

Kirilenko makes more than $3.326MM in fully guaranteed salary this season on an expiring deal, so the structure of the possible Utah swap would be a money-saver for the Nets in raw salary as well as luxury tax. He makes about $531K more than Murry and Evans combined, and the Nets could save more if they cut Murry after they traded for him. Murry will have earned more than his $250K partial guarantee by December 15th, but the Nets could still save about $712K of his $1MM salary. Brooklyn would have to drop a player to accommodate such a deal with Utah, since they’re at the 15-man roster limit, as our roster counts show. It’s unclear if the Jazz, Kirilenko’s original team, would waive him after acquiring him as the Sixers would reportedly be likely to do.

Western Notes: Curry, Meeks, D-League

December 2 2014 at 10:05pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Stephen Curry is now in the second season of the four-year, $44MM deal that he inked with the Warriors, and he has become one of the most blatantly underpaid players in the game, DeAntae Price of The Sporting News writes. Part of the reason that Curry signed that deal was because he missed 40 games the prior season with an ankle injury, prompting him to become concerned about his ability to bounce back, notes Price. But Curry has no regrets about signing the contract, saying, “Yeah, you expect to continue to get better. Obviously, I was in a unique situation, one that I was very comfortable with the decision I made coming off the ankle surgeries. I was confident I’d be able to get back, but I didn’t know how long the road was going to be to get back to 100% and take my game to the next level. But four years is a long time and you hope you can prove that you’re that max type of player and talent.”

Here’s more from out west:

  • The Jazz have recalled Toure’ Murry from the D-League, the team announced. The offseason signee was on assignment with the Idaho Stampede for nearly three weeks, putting up 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals in 31.5 minutes per game across six appearances.
  • The Thunder have recalled both Mitch McGary and Grant Jerrett from the Oklahoma City Blue, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This was Jerrett’s third D-League assignment of the season and McGary’s first.
  • The Lakers didn’t make an offer to Jodie Meeks when he became a free agent last summer because they wanted to maintain flexibility in case LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony decided to come to Los Angeles, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. So Meeks took the sure thing and inked a deal with the Pistons instead, though he still has nothing but warm feelings for the Lakers, Medina adds. “I was getting some interest with the Lakers, but obviously they were waiting on Carmelo and LeBron,” Meeks said. “Who knows what would’ve happened had I waited, but I feel like this [Detroit] is the best place for me.”

Western Notes: Spurs, Centers, Suns, Jazz

November 13 2014 at 3:00pm CST By Chuck Myron

Kobe Bryant hasn’t been nearly as willing to sacrifice money for the betterment of his team the way Tim Duncan has. Still, with the Lakers raking in $100.1MM in basketball-related revenue last season, an amount that far outstrips any other team in the league, USA Today’s Sam Amick argues that Bryant is simply more valuable to his team, in a financial sense, than Duncan is to the Spurs. San Antonio netted $26.1MM from their basketball operations last season, a source tells Amick. Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Big men still command attention on the market even in an era of small-ball, and next summer’s free agent class figures to see plenty of centers garner top dollar, as Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com examines in an Insider-only piece. The majority of the bigs he spotlights are on Western Conference teams, including Marc Gasol, Omer Asik, Robin Lopez and Tyson Chandler.
  • The Suns have assigned 2014 first-round picks Tyler Ennis and T.J. Warren to the D-League, the team announced (on Twitter). Suns coach Jeff Hornacek indicated that the rookies won’t stay with the Bakersfield Jam for long, and it’s likely they return to the big club in time for an East Coast road trip that begins Monday in Boston, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic (Twitter links).
  • Toure’ Murry is headed on D-League assignment from the Jazz, the team announced. Murry has yet to appear in a game for Utah after signing as a free agent this past summer. We’ll be keeping track of D-League assignments and recalls throughout this season in this post.