L.A. Lakers Sign Troy Murphy

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Well it isn’t the Chris Paul trade, but then again not every NBA team in Los Angeles can be the Clippers. There is that obscure little team called the Lakers too.

Yesterday, the Lakers signed former Notre Dame star Troy Murphy to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, worth $1,352,181, which is a set figure by the league for all players with 10 or more years experience.

As a luxury-tax team that has already used up its mini mid-level exception on the signing of Josh McRoberts, all the Lakers can offer incoming free agents at this point is the veteran’s minimum.

Murphy averaged 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds and 10.5 minutes in 17 games with the Boston Celtics last season, finishing the year in Boston after beginning the season with the New Jersey Nets. Murphy fell out of favor with Nets coach Avery Johnson after early-season groin and back injuries limited his availability last year.

New Jersey traded Murphy, along with a second-rounddraft pick, to Golden State in February for forward Brandan Wright and center Dan Gadzuric. Murphy’s homecoming to the team that drafted him in 2001 was short-lived, as the Warriors quickly bought out his contract, allowing Murphy to sign with the Celtics. Murphy described last season as a “fiasco” and said he is 100 percent healthy as he joins the Lakers with just one week to go before the season opens up on Christmas Day.

The 6-foot-11 forward has career averages of 11.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 38.9 percent on 3-pointers in 10 seasons in the league. Murphy averaged 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds with the Indiana Pacers in 2009-10 before being bounced around last season and struggling to find a role with New Jersey and Boston.

The Lakers acted quickly in addressing front-court depth after trading Lamar Odom to Dallas last week by signing McRoberts and Murphy. Murphy serves a dual purpose in being a back-up big man, while also being a 3-point threat. The Lakers ranked in the bottom half of the league in 3-point percentage last season (18th at 35.2 percent) and were right in the middle in 3-pointers made per game (15th at 6.2). Murphy was a two-time consensus All-American and two-time Big East Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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