Murphy signs with Mavs to replace Nowitzki
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks are digging deep to replace Dirk Nowitzki.
Free agent power forward Troy Murphy will join the Mavericks on a one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt. The person requested anonymity because the deal is not official.
Murphy has played for three teams in the past two seasons.
The move comes after Dallas added another 11-year veteran castoff big man, Eddy Curry last week. To keep Curry, the Mavericks cut problem child Delonte West. They will need to get rid of another player to take on Murphy, and third-year shooting guard Dominique Jones seems to be the likely candidate.
Murphy was a viable starter early in his career with the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers, but he barely contributed to the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.2 minutes a game. At his peak, the former Notre Dame star was an elite rebounder and could hit corner three-pointers, but he hasn’t been that player since leaving the Pacers in 2010.
Murphy, 6-10, offers the Mavericks a forward who is more like Nowitzki than their other options, in that he can hit a three-pointer. He also, like Nowitzki, is a weak defender. Dallas is starting Brandan Wright and Elton Brand together despite both being natural power forwards, so Murphy will provide some relief. Curry and rookie center Bernard James are the only big men on Dallas’ bench.
Nowitzki will be out for at least four more weeks after having surgery on his knee.