Kevin Murphy

Greg Monroe, Gary Clark, Carsen Edwards Join G League Teams

A handful of NBA veterans have joined G League teams in advance of the start of the NBAGL’s 2021/22 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As Charania reports, the Capital City Go-Go (Wizards) have added center Greg Monroe, the Mexico City Capitanes have added forward Gary Clark, and the Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz) have acquired swingman Carsen Edwards.

Monroe, 31, has nine years of NBA experience under his belt, but hasn’t played in the league since 2018/19, when he appeared in 43 total games for three teams. In 632 career NBA games, the former Georgetown star averaged 13.2 PPG and 8.3 RPG in 27.7 minutes per contest. He has spent time playing in Germany and Russia since 2019.

An undrafted free agent with three years of NBA experience from 2018-21, Clark appeared in 132 total games for four teams. He’s known more for his defense, having put up very modest offensive numbers (3.2 PPG on .346/.311/.889 shooting) in the NBA. Clark, who will turn 27 later this month, has previous G League experience with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Edwards was the 33th overall pick out of Purdue in 2019 and spent his first two professional seasons with the Celtics, but didn’t emerge as a reliable rotation player, posting just 3.6 PPG on .372/.302/.750 shooting in 68 games (9.2 MPG). He was traded to Memphis and subsequently waived during the 2021 offseason.

The G League Ignite have also announced two veteran additions, confirming that center Kosta Koufos and former Jazz guard Kevin Murphy have come aboard. Amir Johnson and Pooh Jeter are among the other veterans on the team.

And-Ones: Big3, Giannis, Overtime Elite, GM Candidates

Jarrett Jack has joined the Suns’ coaching staff, but his playing career isn’t completely over. Jack hit the game-winning shot Saturday as the Trilogy defended its Big3 title, writes Jack Maloney of CBS Sports. Jack, who was named Co-Rookie of the Year in the summer three-on-three league, had 29 points in the championship game.

“Got a little emotional,” he said. “To be honest, man, this was crazy. This was my first time hitting a game-winner in front of my son. I’m happy for him to be a part of it. Our coach stuck with us through and through every week. We had a hell of a group man. I just want to shout out these guys, my teammates.”

Former NBA All-Star Joe Johnson was named league MVP for the second straight season (Twitter link). Other award winners were Kevin Murphy joining Jack as Co-Rookie of the Year, Isaiah Briscoe as Fourth Man of the Year and Larry Sanders as Defensive Player of the Year.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is considering a return to international basketball in the 2022 EuroBasket tournament, according to EuroHoops. He had to miss this year’s Olympic qualifying tournament because of the playoffs, and Greece failed to earn a spot in Tokyo. “Taking it day by day. But I can’t wait,” Antetokounmpo wrote in response to a tweet by FIBA previewing EuroBasket.
  • In a press release, Overtime Elite announced the signing of three more players — Jahzare Jackson, Jaylen Martin and TJ Clark. The league, made up of top high school prospects, now has 24 players for its inaugural season. OTE is also hoping to sign Kamari Lands, who recently decommitted from Syracuse, tweets Adam Zagoria.
  • The Bucks’ championship makes assistant general manager Milt Newton one of the top GM candidates in the league, per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Newton has experience running a team in Minnesota and he helped build a title-winning roster in Milwaukee. Fischer also examines several other candidates who may be considered for the next GM openings.

Atlantic Notes: Miller, Prokhorov, Celtics, Scott

The Knicks have hired Mike Miller as an assistant on David Fizdale’s staff after he served as their G League coach since the 2015/16 season, according to a team press release. Miller, not to be confused with the longtime NBA player, compiled a 108-92 record with the Westchester Knicks. Derrick Alston, who served as an assistant to Miller, has been promoted to head coach of the G league team, Steve Popper of Newsday tweets.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Mikhail Prokhorov, who recently sold his interest in the Nets, inquired about other NBA franchises — including the Knicks — before he was approved as the majority owner of the Brooklyn franchise. His top basketball adviser, Sergei Kushchenko, revealed that to TASS in a story relayed by ”We were looking over various options at that time,” Kushchenko said. “Among them were the New York Knicks, who asked for a bizarre sum, the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey Nets. We decided to focus on the New Jersey Nets since it was a completely different market then in addition to the prospect of the new arena’s construction along with a full-fledged business framework.” Prokhorov was also scared away by the Knicks’ debt load, according to NetsDaily.
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens will have a dilemma if he wants to get all of his best players on the court during crunch time, Matt John of Basketball Insiders notes. The team’s top five include Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, which would leave them without a true power forward or center in those situations.
  • Sixers forward Mike Scott said some advice from Clippers coach Doc Rivers helped him after he was dealt to Philadelphia last season, Kevin Murphy of The Athletic writes. Scott emerged as a key reserve after he was included in the Tobias Harris blockbuster and earned a two-year, $9.8MM contract in free agency. “I feel I didn’t play well in L.A., and I think for the most part it was on me,” Scott said. “I was still trying to figure it out. When I got here, I said, ‘[The heck with it], I am going to ball-out and try to do what Doc says.’ Do the little things and see what happens.”

Magic Waive Alexander, Dawson, Murphy

The Magic have waived Cliff Alexander, Branden Dawson and Kevin Murphy, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. GM Rob Hennigan announced the moves, which bring the roster down to 16, after tonight’s game with the Hawks.

Alexander, 20, is a power forward/center who appeared in eight games with the Trail Blazers last year after signing as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas. Portland waived him in July before his salary for this season became guaranteed.

Dawson is a 23-year-old power forward who played six games for the Clippers last season. He was a second-round pick out of Michigan State, but spent most of the year in the D-League.

Murphy, 26, is a shooting guard who has played for three D-League teams and spent time in China and Japan. He played 17 games for Utah in 2012/13 after being taken by the Jazz in the second round of the 2012 draft.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Ibaka, Hawks, O’Bryant

Within a piece on Kevin Murphy‘s quest for a roster spot, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel notes that Magic officials likely want to open the season with 14 players instead of the maximum 15, to maintain some flexibility. Still, if the team decides to carry a 15th man with a non-guaranteed contract, that player could be cut any time before January 10 and Orlando wouldn’t be on the hook for his full salary. As Robbins notes,  Jodie Meeks‘ absence could help improve Murphy’s chances of earning a roster spot for the Magic.

Here’s more from out of the Southeast:

Magic Add Six Camp Invitees To Roster

SEPTEMBER 8: The Magic officially confirmed that they’ve signed the six players listed below (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 7: The Magic entered the day with just 13 players on their roster, but will add six more names to that list with a group of training camp invitees. According to Brian K. Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter), the Magic are bringing the following six players to camp:

  • Cliff Alexander, F/C: Alexander signed with the Blazers as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas last July, but only saw action in eight games for the club during the 2015/16 season, playing a total of 36 minutes. He was waived in July before his 2016/17 salary became guaranteed.
  • Branden Dawson, F: Waived by the Clippers in July, Dawson faced felony domestic violence charges earlier this year, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office didn’t pursue those charges, due to insufficient evidence. On the court, the 2015 second-rounder out of Michigan State appeared in just six games for the Clippers, spending most of the season in the D-League.
  • Nick Johnson, G: The 42nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Johnson spent a year with Houston, appearing in 28 games for the team. He was sent to Denver in last year’s Ty Lawson trade, and was subsequently waived by the Nuggets, eventually landing with the D-League’s Austin Spurs for 34 games.
  • Kevin Murphy, G: Since being selected by the Jazz in the second round of the 2012 draft and playing 17 games in his rookie season, Murphy has bounced around, spending time with three D-League teams, as well as in China and Japan.
  • Arinze Onuaku, F/C: Although he appeared in regular-season games for three different teams – New Orleans, Cleveland, and Minnesota – from 2013 to 2015, Onuaku saw action in just 11 total contests. The former Syracuse big man spent time with teams in Israel and the Phillippines last season.
  • Damjan Rudez, F: Rudez’ training camp invite from the Magic was first reported last month. The 30-year-old Croatian saw a decent amount of playing time in Indiana during his first NBA season in 2014/15, averaging 15.4 minutes in 68 regular-season contests for the Pacers. However, he was traded to the Timberwolves last July in a deal for Chase Budinger, and never carved out a consistent role in Minnesota last season. The Wolves declined their team option on his contract in June.

Contract details on the Magic’s new additions aren’t yet known, but the team is over the cap and short-term, minimum-salary deals seem likely. Orlando does still have its $2.898MM room exception available if it needs to offer more than the minimum to secure a player’s services.

With 13 guaranteed contracts on their books, the Magic could be looking to fill two more roster spots for the regular season, with the players listed above vying for those openings.

Western Notes: Wolves, Murphy, Brown

Despite having desirable veteran trade assets in Thaddeus Young and Kevin Martin, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders isn’t actively looking to make more deals before the February 19th trade deadline, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes. Saunders is willing to listen to offers, but he said that the team now has plenty of competition for playing time at every position, and the Wolves are focused on trying to get their current roster settled, Zgoda adds.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Kevin Murphy, who was in training camp with the Jazz this season, is considering returning to the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate, David Pick of reports (Twitter link). Murphy had been playing in China for Zhejiang Guangsha, whose regular season has just concluded.
  • The Suns are expected to discuss a deal with Alec Brown, their 2014 second round draft pick, to join the team for the 2015/16 campaign, Shams Charania of reports. Brown has been rehabilitating a dislocated shoulder that he suffered during summer league play in Las Vegas. The big man is set to join the Bakersfield Jam, Phoenix’s D-League affiliate, next week, Charania notes.
  • Bernard James, who was recently inked to a 10-day deal with the Mavericks, believes that his time spent with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association made him a better player, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes.  “It was huge,” James said of playing overseas. “It kind of got me back to feeling like myself again. I’m not hesitating. I’m believing in my game. It was good to play major minutes and having a team really rely on me.
  • Some NBA executives aren’t dismissing the idea of George Karl retaining Tyrone Corbin as an assistant on his coaching staff with the Kings, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times reports (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Murphy, Belinelli, Smith

Kevin Murphy has signed a deal to join Zhejiang Guangsha in China, as Priority Sports, the agency that represents Murphy, announced on Twitter. We had already heard that the former Jazz camp invitee was leaving the D-League to pursue an opportunity to play overseas. We’ll round up more international news and have a look at what’s happening around the rest of the NBA below..

  • Marco Belinelli, a free agent at season’s end, wouldn’t comment on whether or not he was interested in re-joining the Spurs next season, reports Riccardo Pratesiba of La Gazzetta dello Sport (translation via Basketball Insiders). Still, it’s fair to assert Belinelli would have some interest in returning to San Antonio, where he’s enjoyed quite a bit of success over the past two seasons.
  • MLive’s David Mayo has never witnessed the sort of “mental and spiritual turnaround” that the Pistons have seemed to experience since waiving Josh Smith. Mayo sees the decision to part ways with Smith as a similar move to the one that sent Rudy Gay from the Raptors to the Kings,
  • Anthony Tolliver‘s partially guaranteed 2015/16 contract seemingly makes it less likely that the Pistons retain Jonas Jerebko next season, Mayo argues in the same piece. Given the relatively similar characteristics of the two players, Mayo thinks it’s likely the Pistons hang on to Tolliver rather than Jerebko, who is a free agent at year’s end, since they already have Tolliver under contract and can cut him loose for only $400K if he doesn’t meet expectations.
  • Turkey’s Istanbul BSB has officially announced (via Twitter) the signing of Sasha Vujacic along with three other players (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Vujacic played two games for the Clippers last season on a 10-day contract before signing a deal to play in Europe.

Western Notes: Wolves, Warriors, Varnado

The teams at the top of the Eastern Conference have begun to close the gap on the West, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal observes in his latest “Pick and Pop” column. There are as many teams with winning percentages of .700 or better in the East as there are in the West, and the top four Eastern teams have all won at least eight of their last 10 games. The Blazers are the only Western team that can boast that. Imbalance still exists farther down the standings, where the 18-14 Suns cling to the last Western playoff spot while the 14-18 Heat lay claim to eighth place in the East. Here’s the latest from around the conference that still reigns supreme:

  • Flip Saunders said the Timberwolves are looking at “all kinds of options” and said the team hasn’t reached a deal with anyone amid conflicting reports of an agreement with Miroslav Raduljica, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). Still, Saunders acknowledged there’s “no question” that the team needs to add size, as Zgoda tweets.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect his team will make significant changes anytime soon, as he said on NBA TV, notes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter). “I don’t anticipate us doing a whole lot,” Kerr said. “We’re doing well. We like our team. We’ve got good versatility and depth.”
  • The D-League affiliate of the Lakers acquired the rights to Jarvis Varnado in a trade with the Grizzlies D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders announced (on Twitter). That sort of move usually coincides with or precedes a signing, though it doesn’t appear as though Varnado has a contract with the D-Fenders just yet. Varnado, who was in camp with the Sixers this past fall, was one of a half-dozen players without a deal to play pro basketball after inking an NBA 10-day contract last season, as I noted earlier.
  • Former Jazz camp invitee Kevin Murphy has left Utah’s D-League affiliate to pursue a deal overseas, reports Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). The swingman was briefly with the Jazz during the preseason before the team cut him October 10th.

Western Notes: Thompson, Holiday, Jazz

Klay Thompson tells J.A. Adande of that he’s more interested in securing an extension with the Warriors now than signing a single year contract next summer to prepare for the 2016/17 free agent market, when the league’s new TV deal will kick in and boost player salaries. “It really is tempting to do all that,” said Thompson, who admitted that seeing Paul George‘s shocking injury with Team USA has affected his outlook. “But I’d rather have the security right now, you know?” Adande gets the sense from both Thompson and the Warriors that a deal will get done before the October 31 deadline.  Here’s more from Golden State and the rest of the West:

  • 25-year-old Justin Holiday has faced a tough road to crack an NBA roster, but tells Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle that his experience in international and D-League play has been formative. “I don’t need to go out here and do the jobs of Steph [Curry] and Klay. I understand that,” said Holiday, who hopes to earn one of the two open regular season roster spots with the Warriors. “That’s what a team is about: playing together and using each guy’s strengths in order to win… I want to help and lead on defense. You can’t control your jump shot every night, but you can control your effort on defense all the time.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke highly of Holiday’s ability, telling Simmons, “He’s an unbelievable guy. He’s a great worker, he’s smart and he’s a team guy. Justin belongs in this league.” Kerr has expressed similar non-committal praise for fellow Golden State camp invite Jason Kapono.
  • Veteran Jazz newcomers Trevor Booker and Dahntay Jones tell Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune that Utah’s roster is at an advanced stage for a rebuilding team, having witnessed successful rebuilds in their time with the Wizards and Pacers, respectively.
  • Though the Jazz have waived Dee Bost and Kevin Murphy, they still have interest in adding the pair to their D-League team, Falk notes.