With only six games left in the season, the Utah Jazz decided Saturday that they were wanting to make a move. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Jazz claimed rookie big man Erik Murphy off of waivers. Murphy was waived on Thursday by the Chicago Bulls.
Since the Jazz made the move to claim Murphy, it also meant that they needed to let someone go. The Jazz already had 15 players on the roster, the maximum. Needing to release someone, the Jazz let go of big man Andris Biedrins, who hasn’t seen any game action since the Jazz’s win over the Miami Heat back on December 16th. Biedrins had only appeared in six games for the Jazz, averaging 0.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in 45 total minutes.
With the waiving of Biedrins, the Jazz take there second highest paid player off the books. Biedrins was making $9 million this season with the Jazz.
Moving on to Murphy, the big man was drafted 49th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft out of the University of Florida. Murphy has appeared in 24 games this season for the Bulls before being released. Murphy only averaged 0.3 points, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.2 blocks per game while averaging 2.6 minutes per game. Not necessarily numbers that jump off the charts at you.
There is not a lot of highlights that you can find on the web that consist of Murphy, but during the Las Vegas summer league, Murphy did drop 19 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Dallas Mavericks. It wasn’t only on the inside. Murphy looks to have a fairly nice stroke from the outside and could help stretch the defense. You can see the highlights of that game below, however, Murphy is not shown very much.
With the Jazz claiming Murphy, they will consume his current contract that includes a non-guaranteed contract for next season, according to Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke. If the Jazz play him the last six games of the season, and they like him, they could keep him next year. According to Jazz PR director Jonathon Rinehart, Murphy will wear number 33 for the Jazz.
Murphy is the son of former NBA forward Jay Murphy and Finland national team player Paivi Murphy. Murphy was born in Lyon, France. During the 2013 NBA Draft, Murphy’s NBA comparison was Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs, not a bad comparison.
This move is nothing to really get too excited about, but the Jazz did make a move today that gave them a little more flexibility in the off season if they need it. The Jazz could possibly use Murphy in a trade this summer. However, things happened in Jazz land today and it gives us something to talk about as the season winds down. Murphy is not going to be an All-Star, but it is always exciting to welcome in a new player to the team. If you would like to follow him on Twitter and welcome him to the team, his Twitter handle is @e_murphy31. Welcome to Salt Lake City Erik!!!