Flip Murray

And-Ones: NBPA, Monroe, Murray

On Wednesday, the NBPA announced in an unprecedented move, that it will now fund health insurance for all retired players who accrued three or more years of service time in the NBA (h/t RealGM). This program will be the first of its kind among North American professional sports, the release noted. “The game has never been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we’re only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us,” said Chris Paul. “It’s important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I’m proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Bucks are still looking to find a taker for Greg Monroe and it sounds like they’ve spoken to the Pelicans about him this offseason. “I think [the Bucks] got closer than maybe has been reported with New Orleans during either the draft or free agency,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said during today’s episode of The Lowe Post podcast (54:25 mark for the relevant portion). “Monroe’s a New Orleans native,” ESPN’s Marc Stein added. “I think that’s where he wants to end up.” Neither Lowe nor Stein suggested that a deal between the Pelicans and Bucks is currently in the works, but Stein expects the big man to eventually be moved, and those two clubs also discussed Monroe prior to this year’s trade deadline.
  • Richard Jefferson‘s contract with the Cavaliers is for three years, not for two as was previously reported, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The veteran will earn $2.5MM in each of the first two seasons, with the final season worth a non-guaranteed $2.6MM, Pincus adds.
  • Add former NBA player Flip Murray to the list of veterans considering making a return to the league, as he told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. “I would definitely bring a lot of veteran leadership because I know the game of basketball,” Murray said. “The way the game is now, I feel like I could fit perfectly in. I could be someone who comes off the bench and produces for the team. I’d also like to mentor the young guys and pass on some of the experiences and lessons I learned from playing against some of the guys I matched up against during my time. If I come in right now, I could bring a lot of veteran leadership and still be able to produce on the court.” The 36-year-old last appeared in the NBA during the regular season in 2009/10.

And-Ones: Gobert, Harkless, Pierce

Jazz center Rudy Gobert will play for Team France in the Rio Olympics, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News reports. He’ll join new Jazz teammate, Boris Diaw, on the squad. Utah swingman Joe Ingles will play for Team Australia and point guard Raul Neto will play for host Brazil, Genessy adds. Gobert did not participate in the Olympic qualifying tournament, when France nabbed the final spot in the field of 12.

In other news around the league:

  • Technology industry leaders are urging commissioner Adam Silver to move next year’s All­-Star Game out of Charlotte unless a North Carolina law that limits anti­-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people is repealed, according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. The executives told Silver in a letter obtained by the AP that putting fans at risk of discrimination would “send a terrible message about who the NBA is and what it values as an organization.” Silver has made it clear the league needs changes to the HB2 law in order to stage the All-Star game but has not set any deadlines for when he might act, Mahoney adds.
  • Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless is in “no rush” to sign a contract, but the restricted free agent should make a decision in the next couple of days, his agent told Jason Quick of CSNNW.com (Twitter link). Harkless might accept the Blazers’ qualifying offer of just over $4MM, Quick adds. Several teams were reportedly interested in Harkless early in the free agent process, including the Wizards, Pistons, Lakers, Mavericks and Jazz, but some of those clubs have already made other commitments.
  • Clippers small forward Paul Pierce intends to play next season, a source close to Pierce informed Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The 38-year-old Pierce appeared in 68 regular-season games with them last season, averaging 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds. He also played in five postseason games.
  • Point guard Flip Murray is attempting an NBA comeback, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. The 36-year-old Murray, who has been playing overseas, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2009/10 season.

Several With NBA Ties Enter D-League Draft

The NBA D-League Draft is set for today, and a whopping total of 290 players are eligible for selection during this annual event. The D-League posted the full list of eligible participants, which can be viewed here, and it contains a number of notable players with NBA ties.

The two names that immediately jump out off the list are Jimmer Fredette, who was waived by the Spurs last week, and Perry Jones III, whose fully guaranteed deal was cut loose by Boston. Fredette’s chances of catching on in the NBA appear to be dwindling rapidly, though I do expect that there is a better than average chance he will be selected No. 2 overall by Westchester, the Knicks’ D-League affiliate. If that is indeed the case, then Fredette may have a shot at catching on with the Knicks at some point during the course of the 2015/16 campaign, given New York’s lack of backcourt depth.

As for Jones, his is likely to be the first named called by Idaho, Utah’s affiliate, when the draft commences, though that is merely my speculation. Jones, a former first-rounder, hasn’t been able to get on the court consistently over the course of his three years in the league. This was partly due to the depth and talent ahead of him while with the Thunder, but his lack of a consistent outside shot and defensive limitations also held him back from carving out a place in the team’s rotation. It was a bit of a surprise to see Boston cut him loose, but Jones was the victim of a numbers crunch with the Celtics, who had 16 fully guaranteed deals on their roster heading into the October 26th deadline to cut rosters to the league maximum of 15 players.

We’ve sorted through those 290 names to pare it down to a list of all D-League draft-eligibles who were in NBA camps this year or on NBA regular season rosters in 2014/15. The last NBA team with which they were under contract is in parentheses.
*Note that since the recent camp cuts among the names listed above are entering the D-League draft, they’re not affiliate players whose D-League rights were claimed by their former NBA teams.
These are NBA veterans who don’t fit the criteria for the above list but are otherwise noteworthy:

The current order for the first round of the 2015 NBA D-League Draft is as follows:

1. Idaho
2. Westchester
3. Iowa (from Los Angeles)
4. Iowa (from Reno)
5. Delaware
6. Texas
7. Grand Rapids
8. Delaware (from Santa Cruz via Erie)
9. Iowa
10. Rio Grande Valley
11. Raptors 905
12. Rio Grande Valley (from Fort Wayne)
13. Oklahoma City
14. Sioux Falls
15. Canton
16. Austin
17. Bakersfield
18. Santa Cruz
19. Maine

Grizzlies Waive Dupree, Jordan, Murray

The Grizzlies have let go of Ronald Dupree, Jerome Jordan and Ronald "Flip" Murray, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, clearing the last of the team's non-guaranteed contracts from the books. Memphis is down to 13 players, which is the minimum it can carry.

Dupree, 31, has played in parts of six NBA regular seasons, but spent last year playing overseas in Italy and Argentina. He averaged 3.5 points in 13.1 minutes over six preseason games this year. Jordan has been linked to teams in China while still in camp this month, so he could be headed overseas after appearing in 21 games last season for the Knicks. The 33-year-old Murray is a veteran of eight NBA seasons, but hasn't played in the league since 2009/10. He played three games in the D-League last year, an unconventional destination for a player of his age.

Camp Rumors: Howard, Hornets, Murray, Miller

It's looking more like the Lakers will have Dwight Howard in the lineup to start the regular season, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports hears the big man is determined to be ready for opening night, and that the progress he's made in recent weeks has upped his chances. Howard says his surgically repaired back is at 85%, Wojnarowski reports. The Lakers still don't have a timetable for his return, but it's just one more reason for optimism in L.A. The mood is upbeat all around the league this time of year, as teams start fresh in training camp. Here's a roundup of news from camps across the Association.

  • John Reid of The Times-Picayune hears that Hornets GM Dell Demps will work in tandem with executives Mickey Loomis and Dennis Lauscha on the team's basketball-related decisions. It's unclear exactly what role everyone will play, but I imagine Demps will continue to function in the day-to-day role of most GMs.
  • Ronald "Flip" Murray, who has an agreement to join the Grizzlies, was not on the camp roster released by the team today, but Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal says the journeyman guard will indeed be in camp (Twitter link).
  • This could be the last training camp for Heat swingman Mike Miller, who hinted at retirement after last season and wants to see how his back responds before promising anything beyond this year, Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida writes (Sulia link). Miller's deal has more than $13MM left on it and runs through 2015, with a player option in the final season. 
  • Many of the Celtics veterans have been working out together since early September, while the rookies have been in Boston for most of the past three months. That's led to better chemistry as camp starts, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com writes.

Grizzlies To Sign Flip Murray, Jerome Jordan

The Grizzlies have received four new verbal commitments from players to participate in training camp on non-guaranteed contracts, including center Jerome Jordan and guard Ronald Murray, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  Former University of Oregon center Michael Dunigan and D-League forward/center Jarrid Famous are also set to join the Griz in camp.

Murray, 33, last played in the NBA for the Bulls during the 2009/10 season and has spent the last two years overseas and in the D-League.  For his NBA career, the guard has averaged 9.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 2.3 APG.

Jordan, 25, appeared in 22 games for the Knicks last season between stints with the Erie BayHawks of the D-League.  The 7-footer was shipped to Houston in July along with Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, and two future draft picks in the Marcus Camby deal.  Jordan was waived shortly after the trade.

Famous, a 6'11" big man who spent time in the D-League last season, had just one year of eligibility at South Florida as a JUCO transfer but put himself on the NBA map thanks to his athleticism.  Dunigan, who stands at 6'10", could be of significant interest to the Grizzlies as they considered taking him with the 49th pick in the 2011 draft before settling on Josh Selby instead.

Earlier this week, the Grizzlies reached agreement with journeyman forward Ronald Dupree on a non-guaranteed deal.

Minor Moves: Wright, Williams, Murray

We'll track the latest international and D-League-related transactions here:

  • The Warriors have recalled Chris Wright from their D-League affiliate, according to a team release. Wright had been assigned to the Dakota Wizards on March 24th for the second time this season.
  • Sean Williams is rejoining the Texas Legends for the rest of the D-League season, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Williams was waived by the Mavericks in March to make room for Kelenna Azubuike, but will return to the team's D-League affiliate, where he spent time earlier this season.
  • Former NBA veteran Flip Murray will sign with the D-League's Austin Toros, according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (via Twitter). Murray played for eight NBA teams in eight seasons, last seeing NBA action with the Bulls in the 2010 playoffs. The 32-year-old averaged 9.9 points in 22.7 minutes per contest over the course of 487 career games.