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Toure' Murry recalled from NBA-DL by Utah Jazz, and why this matters

That was quick . . .

"Y'all gonna let me play in games this time round?"
"Y'all gonna let me play in games this time round?"
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is in, and the Utah Jazz have recalled Toure' Murry from the NBA DL's Idaho Stampede.

Yup. Here's what the Utah Jazz press release had to say:

SALT LAKE CITY (December 2, 2014) - The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has recalled guard Toure' Murry from the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede, the Jazz's exclusive D-League affiliate. Murry was assigned to the Stampede on Nov. 13.

Murry (6-5, 195, Wichita State) appeared in six games (five starts) for the Stampede, averaging 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals (tied for sixth in the NBA D-League) in 31.5 minutes of play. Murry recorded two double-doubles, tallying 15 points and 10 assists at the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Nov. 21, and then 22 points and 10 rebounds again at the D-Fenders on Nov. 22. He scored in double figures in five of his six games, reaching 20-plus points once.

The 6-5 guard signed with Utah as a free agent on Aug. 28. He has not yet appeared in a game this season for the Jazz.

Murry is the ninth different player in Jazz history to be assigned to the D-League, and the first under the new Jazz-Stampede single affiliation. Other players on the current Jazz roster with D-League experience include Ian Clark, Rudy Gobert, Jeremy Evans and Steve Novak.

-, December 2014

And here's what the Idaho Stampede press release had to say:

[Ed Note. It's the exact same press release, just with a different font to make it look more fun. There's a video as well -- a vid you've already seen if you've been reading my NBA-DL posts.]

So, what do I have to say?

The overall idea that I have is that you have to demonstrate that you are TOO GOOD for the NBA-DL. If you can do that, then you get recalled. This idea I have goes against the nature of what we're being sold the NBA-DL is supposed to be. The Jazz' assistant GM Justin Zanik suggested that this is a situation where a player who is a) young, and b) out of the Jazz rotation can get some 'reps' in by playing in games. He recognizes that IN GAME experience > watching (can't believe some people argued so strongly against this on twitter a few years ago). But the idea is that what he'll be doing isn't Morris Almond -ing it but by actually playing within the same system. Stamps head coach Cooper was hand picked by the Jazz, and spent months with Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and staff learning this system. He was even a part of the Jazz' training camp in late September and early October.

Having watched each NBA-DL game, though, I will argue that the two teams do not play fully similar styles (unless you posit the idea that Kevin Murphy is the Gordon Hayward of the Stampede). For the most part players have been deviated back into their most familiar roles. Specifically if you look at Murphy, he is playing like his college self (slightly taller Morris Almond) in this offense more than he is playing like the archetype wing facilitator that Gordon Hayward is in our current Jazz offense. But that's just what I see, but Murphy is passing more, and getting better at it.

I find that Murry did demonstrate that he is too good to be in the NBA-DL, but then you get put in a funny NBA category. Last season both Rudy Gobert (13.9 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 3.0 bpg, .741 FG%, in 8 games) and Ian Clark (12.4 ppg, 5.3 apg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 spg, .344 3PT%, also in 8 games) did that -- but then graduated to the NBA where their head coach had no intention on integrating them into the normative roster upon return. So they played well enough to a) return to the NBA, but b) play well enough to graduate to a strange state where they weren't playing in game anymore.

Personally, I think we all know that was a mistake. Rudy Gobert could even make a push to start some games this year. And as for Clark, I feel like he and/or Toure' Murry should get some looks at shooting guard on the bench. I don't know if Joe Ingles is getting it done -- you could even argue that he breaks plays by not shooting the ball when he gets passed the rock in a spot up three point opportunity. I know that Ingles is a Golden Calf for some people, and I love him as a personality. But I'm not crazy with his abject passiveness on the court. it becomes a non-aligned force multiplier when paired up with Dante Exum. I feel like from watching Murry and Clark they would inject something to our anemic bench offense.

Perhaps we'll see some of that upon Murry's return. It's not like making tweaks to the rotation is going to break up our big winning streaks -- the Jazz have lost 6 in a row, including the last four home games. I'm obviously biased because I've seen Murry play this season (albeit in NBA-DL games), which is much more than most Jazz fans can claim. I feel like he is the NBA-DL version of Dwyane Wade. His size, physicality, handles, and ability to get to the rim make him a handful for most defenders. But that's at the DL level. At the NBA level his body-type is normal for combo guards and his anthropometric advantages are removed. He still has NBA level skills. Skills that could help this team play better in a learning year. He also satisfies the criteria of being another ball handler on the court if he subs in at the two.

Alas, I don't make the coaching decisions. (We all know this, after all I wouldn't have played Kyrylo Fesenko only 1:46 minutes the very next game after hanging 12 / 11 / 2 / 1 / 3 on Yao Ming.) The bottom line is that Murry is an NBA player, he has proven it twice now after elevating his game in the NBA-DL a second time (he played 40+ games there before being signed by the New York Knicks, and displayed that he was too good for the league then too).

I hope to see him on the court. His defense will be the fulcrum that his future in the NBA will be balanced upon.