In this last year's draft the Utah Jazz had pick #47, and used it on small school standing out shooting guard Kevin Murphy. Previously at pick #47 the Utah Jazz had picked Mo Williams and Paul Millsap -- two guys who are STARTING for the Jazz. So, the Jazz kinda get their scouting pretty okay on 2nd rounders. The jury is out on lottery picks, but the Jazz do quite poorly with late first rounders (Greg Ostertag exempted). Kevin had played in just 3 games this season with the Jazz, and only 9 minutes. With Randy Foye shooting 45-bajillion-percent from three this year, there really isn't a need right now for Murphy to sit and watch. (And that's precisely what he's been doing this year).
So, Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey announced that Murphy is going to Reno. The full press release by the Utah Jazz can be found here. In it you do find this cool tid-bit:
"Murphy becomes the sixth player in Jazz history to be assigned to the D-League, and the first since current Jazz teammate Jeremy Evans was in March 2011." -- The Utah Jazz, at NBA.com
Off the top of your head can you name them? I think I can: CJ, Mobe, Fes, Koof, and Jeremy, right? I just checked, I am correct. Because this is an amazing blog with amazing readers, let's do an amazing job with this post. Here are their stats as well:
C.J. Miles (2005-06, 06-07): Jilla played two seasons (sparingly) with our then affiliates the Albuquerque Thunderbirds and Idaho Stampede. In 19 total games he averaged 14.6 ppg (46.2 fg%, 38.5 3pt%, 71.8 ft%), 4.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 spg, and got to the line 4.1 times a game. C.J. is like the poster child for "we'll only play you if guys ahead of you are injury" debacle. He would start one night because Ronnie Brewer and Matt Harpring were both injured, then not even play in the next game. And one complains about his inconsistency right now while failing to mention his inconsistent playing opportunities . . . Miles is playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season and has played in 10 games, averaging 5.3 ppg (29.2 fg%), 1.8 rpg, and 0.7 spg.
Morris Almond (2007-08, 08-09, 09-10, 11-12): Mobe has played in the NBDL for a number of teams, not just the Jazz. But he's played in it long enough to show that his actual basketball ability isn't a fluke, at least on that level. His career averages (not including his nuclear results in 4 playoff games) in 119 games are: 37.1 mpg, 24.5 ppg (49.5 fg%, 38.7 3pt%, 81.4 ft%, 1.48 PPS, 8.1 FTA per game), 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.8 spg and a career D-League PER of 20.8. He was the 2007-08 NBA D-League Impact player of the year, and been on their All-Star and All-NBDL teams a few times. In the history of that league, he's #5 All-Time in offensive win shares. So, yeah. I would have taken him on the Jazz last year over Josh Howard in a heart beat. The legit media clowns on Mobe (I don't see Ben Bags scoring 50 anytime soon), but as we looked int it -- he was a first rounder for a reason, and superior (at that stage) to Kevin Murphy. All that said, he's currently not in the league.
Kyrylo Fesenko (2007-08, 08-09): Big Fes only played for the Utah Flash, and while he had no scope to actually play in the NBA, he wasn't sent to the D-League nearly enough. He played in 51 total games, and managed career averages of 10.6 ppg (50.4 fg%, 62.3 ft% -- a confidence / comfort thing as seen here), 7.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.8 bpg, and got to the line 4.0 times a game in 25.6 mpg. When you bumped that up to "starters" minutes he is a 15 / 11 / 3 / 3 guy, who fouls 5 times a game. So that's the problem. Fes was solid in the NBA-DL, and made their All-Star team. He was a big guy who played defense and blocked shots. That's kinda what we wanted him to be. Glad when it was confirmed that was who he was, we didn't play him. He was cut in training camp from the Chicago Bulls.
Kosta Koufos (2008-09, 09-10): The Koof played only 15 games in the D-League, all with the Utah Flash. He got to play starters minutes and was a super impressive 17.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1.8 apg dude who shot 57.5 fg% and 58.8 ft% (less than Fes) in 30.2 mpg. Out of all of the players listed so far, he's the only one who's still doing something in the NBA -- this year he's averaging 22.1 MPG and starting for the Denver Nuggets, averaging 6.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 1.8 bpg.
Jeremy Evans (2010-11): Elevator Evans played in 2 whole games in the D-League. He has a career average of 10.5 ppg (52.9 fg%), 8.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, and 3.5 bpg. It's hilarious that we send him down to the D-League for more experience and he plays 64 more minutes. I spent more time in airports on the way down there, I bet. We're a hilarious franchise.
And now we're throwing Murphy a bone. I really don't expect Murphy to spend a lot of time with the Reno BigHorns. The Jazz look at the NBDL like a chore and obligation more than an actual D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T tool. After all, players on their rookie deals are eligible to freely go down without any contract issues under their first two seasons. We've had a lot of guys not get playing time with the team just sit in their first two years; while smarter teams like the San Antonio Spurs actually USE their D-League teams.
I guess this is some of that Lindsey magic.
Good luck Kevin! Get some time and play hard. Players rarely get better by watching things. After all, look at all the people who watch porn online, they don't all make love like Greek Gods. Watching Randy Foye get eaten alive on defense by Danny Green doesn't make you a better player in real life. Only in comparison. (OOoh, burn!)
The even better news is that we may actually get a chance to SEE him play too:
Awesome! Go Kevin Go!