As has been rumored for several weeks, the Jazz have finally signed former Knicks and Wichita State point guard Toure Murry. BBJ already gave you the quick news post yesterday, and Amar gave you a more thorough scouting report a few weeks ago. A snippet from that:
Murry is a young guard who is only going to get better. He did have a better NBA AST% (21.5) than NBA TOV% (18.9%), and though he played fewer than 400 minutes was still able to accumulate a PER of 11.1. He is way better than John Lucas III. He's also younger, and plays with some level of swagger.
It's also worth noting that Murry's deal is guaranteed for $250,000 this year, according to Woj:
Free agent Toure Murry 2-year, $2M deal with Jazz signed, includes $250k guarantee this year and non-guaranteed in '15-16, source says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 26, 2014
That seems to indicate a higher level of investment in Murry than the Jazz have placed in their other recent signings, as My_Lo told you about yesterday. And that makes sense, because the Jazz did need a third point guard behind Trey Burke and Dante Exum. (Although Ian Clark and Dee Bost and even Alec Burks could fill that role in a pinch as well. I mean, it's not like we're worrying about winning this year.)
The Murry move thus both fills a need and allows Dennis Lindsey to continue playing Marginal NBA Player Roulette in hopes of striking gold, if I may mix my wealth-discovery metaphors.
I haven't seen Murry play enough to comment on his game, but he's got plenty of size and energy and seems to play with a certain flair we don't often see in SLC. Watching this highlight reel from last year with the Knicks, his transition and lob-pass game is on point, to say the least:
A couple of names with Jazz connections have signed with college teams recently. Jake Lindsey, son of our fearless GM Dennis, will follow his father's footsteps to Baylor:
2015 PG Jake Lindsey pledges to Baylor, sources tell BR. Salt Lake City native also had Utah offer, among others. Dad, Dennis, played at BU.— Jason King (@JasonKingBR) August 25, 2014
And UW-Green Bay, of the Horizon League, announced Tuesday that Enes Kanter's younger brother Kerem would be joining their basketball program:
Green Bay announces it has added Enes Kanter's younger brother, 6-9 Kerem, for this season. Played at IMG last season.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) August 26, 2014
I'm sure we'll be keeping an eye on their progress. I know some Jazz fans don't care about players who aren't on the Jazz anymore, or who otherwise have no formal influence on the team roster itself, but I kind of like keeping tabs on those connections. The Jazz franchise is built on family, after all, right? Right.
FanPosts! I might as well start naming this section after JuMu, because he's consistently putting out quality work every week. He's been working on a series of player preview posts, all of which I recommend to you. Here's a bit from his look at Rudy Gobert:
Gobert needs to show Coach Quin that he deserves the backup center minutes for the team; this is critical for his development on his way as potentially, a top defensive big man in the league.
Trevor Booker's signing is what makes me a little wary as he may become a hindrance to this happening. If Quin decides to pull something similar to our previous coach and decide that both Favors and Kanter can only play center such that Booker starts next to 1 of them with the other coming off the bench as center, then this pushes Gobert to 3rd string center once again and hinders him from receiving proper developmental minutes.
Our other spotlighted FanPost is from Beeblebrox42, who asks a question that will become more relevant as the season progresses: What should the Jazz do with Enes Kanter?
Enes Kanter seems to be a point of contention amongst Dunkers. There are those who believe he has the potential to be the best player on the team, and others who think he'll never be more than an adequate starter. Personally, I'm on the fence. I see his scoring potential, but I'm concerned about his defense. Style wise, I like the Al Jefferson comparison, a player who just made an all-NBA team, but Big Al was also scorned as a player that gave up more points than he contributed, and couldn't be a key piece on a contending team. Adding to the debate is the fantastic summer-league/FIBA play of Rudy Gobert.
I decided to take a look and see how Kanter compares with other bigs (ranging from career backups to All-NBA) through their first 3 years. I am, however, going to make things a little difficult for you by not giving you their names. I'm also not going to use raw numbers, but normalized statistics.
Click through for the stats on that one. Good work, guys!
I don't think we ever linked to this piece from last week's Indy Star on Gordon Hayward. He talks a little about how his life has changed since his days at Brownsburg High and Butler University near Indianapolis. It's really nothing we haven't heard before, and it's outdated now since Hayward didn't make the final USA roster, but there are a few comments from other national-team folks that show how Gordon was perceived in camp.
"He has that uncanny ability to be a pest on defense," said Golden State guard and likely national team starter Stephen Curry. "On the offensive end, he's just in the right places and makes the right plays. There's nothing flashy about his game. He executes every time he touches the ball."
The article also highlights the growing pressure Hayward will be under to live up to his sizable contract and increased role on the Jazz. Fans have been discussing this for weeks, on this site and elsewhere, so I won't rehash it too much here. But I do have a feeling that this year's Jazz will be different.
Hayward points out in the Indy Star article that he's one of the oldest guys on the team at 24. Among Jazz players likely to see minutes, only Trevor Booker, Steve Novak and Jeremy Evans are older. That could either mean more pressure for Gordon, or it could mean an opportunity for the Jazz to find a unique chemistry as a young, hungry squad, where no one player has to be the "leader." We'll have to see.
Here's the latest NBA 2K15 video game trailer. It involves a digital version of Shaq describing the onomatopoetic noise of a three-pointer. It also features a brief glimpse of Dante Exum at about the 0:45 mark. Enjoy.