DALLAS – The only thing Dallas needs as much as backcourt help is, well, frontcourt help. So in comes the idea of Troy Murphy, and maybe the best thing we can say about him: Murphy carries with him The Rick Carlisle Seal of Approval.
The Dallas Mavericks’ loss to the Jazz on Wednesday was the second night of a back-to-back. If you didn’t already know that, then you could probably tell by watching the Dallas big men. Elton Brand, who played inspired basketball in a win over the Lakers the evening before, looked tired and unable to replicate his performance against the Jazz.
So on Thursday, the Mavericks worked to add another big man to their roster by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with veteran power forward Troy Murphy.
If this were 2009, this would be a great pickup.
Murphy, 32, thrived for nearly 10 years in the NBA as a 6-foot-11, 240-pound power forward with a smooth jump shot and a knack for rebounding. Five times in his career Murphy has averaged a double-double.
Unfortunately, Murphy has been largely irrelevant for the past three years. After a great 2009-10 season with the Pacers, Murphy went to the Celtics, and to go along with a number of injuries, there was a huge drop-off in production. Over the next two seasons with the Celtics and Nets, Murphy only played a total of 35 games.
Last season, the Lakers signed Murphy, but he was basically a non-factor for them. In fact, Murphy’s 16 minutes per game were many people’s reasoning for counting out the Lakers’ title chances. Murphy averaged three points and three rebounds in Los Angeles.
Murphy has the benefit of having a consistent jump shot, which rarely leaves a player. In that sense, there is a highly optimistic view to be taken that he can serve the next few weeks as a Dirk-Lite-Lite-Lite … a big with a perimeter jumper once so sweet that he remains a 39-percent marksman from the arc.
Dirk-Lite? Peja II?
Honestly, if Murphy’s body of work is to be relied on heavily for our scouting of this Mavericks move, then the past three seasons would suggest that he will be a defensive liability and will not be able to create his own shot.
One other “creative” note here: The Mavs have an agreement with Murphy, we’re told, but as of Thursday evening, it’s pending the opening of a roster spot. A possible move: The erasure of guard Dominique Jones, who is clearly not in Dallas’ short-term or long-term plans.
At the same time, Murphy, a 12-year vet with career averages of 10.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, is a former pupil of Carlisle’s in Indy. In 2006-07, he averaged 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Pacers.