Like most rookies, Trey Murphy faced a difficult adjustment to the NBA, writes Ethan Fuller of Basketball News. After being a star in college, the 17th pick in last year’s draft saw minimal playing time during his first few months with the Pelicans. That changed in March and April as the team went on a late-season run and advanced past the play-in tournament, but Murphy admits the start of his career was challenging.
“Those times when I was struggling [and] wasn’t playing a lot — that’s when I really learned a lot about myself and just staying the course, because the NBA is so much of a mental aspect and a mental game that you have to worry about,” Murphy said. “You could be doing a lot of good stuff physically and on the court, but if your mentals aren’t right, there’s gonna be a lot of stuff that’s happening that won’t affect you in a positive way.”
Murphy eventually became a regular part of the rotation in New Orleans, averaging 19.5 minutes per game after March 9 while contributing 9.7 points and 3.4 rebounds and shooting 43.8% from three-point range. Heading into his second NBA season, Murphy has increased his weight to 215 pounds and showed in Summer League that he’s willing to take on contact.
“I’m just getting a lot smarter too,” he said. “Just knowing what’s coming next, so you’re able to brace for things; you’re able to absorb force as well as distribute force when need be.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Jake LaRavia fizzled out during Summer League after sinking four three-pointers in his first game, but the Grizzlies aren’t concerned about his lack of production, according to Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Kennedy Chandler was the only legitimate point guard on the team this summer, and the Grizzlies are confident that LaRavia will get plenty of open shots playing alongside Ja Morant.
- The Rockets and Kevin Porter Jr. are both hoping to reach an extension agreement before the new season starts, Kelly Iko of the Athletic states in a look at players around the league who have the most to prove. Whether the extension happens or not, Houston is counting on Porter to prove that he can be the team’s long-term answer at point guard.
- The Spurs appear headed for their worst season in 25 years and will need some good fortune to turn things around quickly, writes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News.