Jazz take Tennessee Tech guard Murphy at 47
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)
The Utah Jazz addressed a major need Thursday night when they selected Tennessee Tech guard Kevin Murphy with the 47th overall pick in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-7 Murphy averaged 20.6 points and 5.2 rebounds last season as a senior.
''He's a shooter, a proven scorer,'' said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.
The coach also touted Murphy's ability to shoot off the dribble and his quickness.
Murphy scored 2,019 points, with 535 rebounds and 248 assists during his four-year career at Tennessee Tech.
He became just the 16th player in Ohio Valley Conference history to score 2,000 career points.
He dropped 50 on a team last season, scored 30 or more four times in his career and 20 or more 11 times. He also finished last season ranked No. 4 in the conference in 3-point shooting at nearly 42 percent.
The Jazz are in need of a 3-point shooter as they hit just .323 as a team - 27th in the league.
''He fits the mold of most second-round picks,'' Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said.
''He was under-recruited, built himself up to have success. and didn't go as high as he expected. He's probably got a little chip on his shoulder.''
Millsap has been the heart and soul of the Jazz and averaged 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds last season. And Williams, who could be headed back to the Jazz if a three-team deal can be finalized, was an All-Star as recently as 2009.
The Jazz were without a first-round pick for the first time since 1994.
Utah's own pick, No. 18, went to Minnesota as part of a 2011 deal for center Al Jefferson. Another first-round pick was top-seven protected and Golden State used it Thursday to select North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes.
The Jazz have had luck with second-rounders. Four players on last year's final roster were second-rounders - C.J. Miles (No. 34 in 2005), Millsap (No. 47 in 2006), Jeremy Evans (No. 55 in 2010) and Earl Watson (No. 39 by Seattle in 2001).
The Jazz are coming off a season in which they surprised some by finishing above .500 (36-30) and reaching the playoffs. But after being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, there is plenty of room for improvement
There was talk Utah might try to move up to grab a local star such as Weber State guard Damian Lillard, or another lottery pick.
''That would be a step forward and two steps back,'' O'Connor said.
Besides the young core, the Jazz have several talented veterans, notably Millsap and Jefferson.