Marc Stein reports
Highly coveted free agent Troy Murphy is signing with the Boston Celtics.
Murphy told ESPN.com via e-mail that he will join the Celtics after spending much of the past 48 hours agonizing between Boston and the Miami Heat. Murphy reached terms of a buyout with the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Murphy also received recruiting pitches this week from Portland, New York and Orlando, sources said, but the 6-foot-10 forward was always determined to sign with a top contender in anticipation of making the first deep playoff run of his career. Murphy has played in more games (639) than any other active player without appearing in the playoffs.
The East’s top two teams chased Murphy hard, seeing him as this season’s P.J. Brown in terms of being a difference-making big man. Boston now will hope that Murphy’s perimeter touch and proven ability to rebound can fortify its frontcourt rotation like Brown did when he joined the Celtics midway through the 2007-08 season.
Very surprised Orlando didn’t figure into Murphy’s end game more seriously. They were the team that offered the best opportunity for significant playing time and the team most desperate to add another big man to their roster. Plus, as a stretch four, Murphy fit their game plan.
Anyway, excellent signing for Boston. Adds a great deal of depth to their roster.
Big Man Depth
- Center – Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Nenad Krstic
- Power forward – Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis and Troy Murphy
All of their power forwards are capable of logging time at the center position and they have Jeff Green as their backup SF who is capable of doing a shift at the four where necessary.
Tremendous depth for Boston. Lots of bodies plus they are players who possess different skill-sets and offer Doc a multitude of options matchup wise.
Adding Corey Brewer would be fantastic for Boston. That would give them eight bench players that Doc can comfortably call upon in a playoff game to give Boston quality minutes. Great position to be in.
Third String PG
The Celtics should still try and add a solid third string PG due to Delonte West’s injury troubles this season + Avery Bradley’s poor performance to date. As insurance.
It doesn’t need to be anyone special, just someone who can offer a bit more than Bradley does.