Trade rumors have Murphy frustrated
Injured forward hasn't found a proper fit in Nellie's system
Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, December 22, 2006
(12-22) 04:00 PST Orlando -- After hearing his name repeatedly mentioned in trade rumors, injured forward Troy Murphy said Thursday that he's no longer sure where he fits into the Warriors and coach Don Nelson's new system.
"When you come up in everything, it makes you wonder," Murphy said from Southern California, where he was seeing a foot specialist for his sore Achilles. "If you think the fit isn't that great and your name comes up in rumors, you think that maybe the front office feels the same way."
Murphy's name began surfacing in trade speculation last season when Ron Artest was being shopped by Indiana, and again over the summer as the Warriors pursued forward Al Harrington.
It was assumed coming into this season, however, that the 6-foot-11 Murphy would thrive under Nelson as a big man with shooting range. But Nelson scrapped his plan to have Murphy start at center after one game, and it's clear that the pairing hasn't meshed as expected.
Murphy has been in and out with injuries, played anywhere from 11 minutes to 44 minutes in a game, and usually found himself on the bench during fourth quarters as Nelson finishes games with quicker lineups.
Though he's shooting career-highs of 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range, his shot attempts (7.6), points (10., rebounds (5.9) and minutes (28.2) are all down.
"It's been frustrating," said Murphy, who was one of six players to average a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds a year ago. "I thought it would really be a great fit here with the whole change of staff and everything, and it's not been as good a fit as I had hoped. I'm not sure why."
Nelson has called Murphy's situation a case of "the chicken and the egg," with Murphy needing to play consistently, without getting consistent minutes, to earn more time. General manager Rod Higgins said Wednesday he also expected a good season, but that it was too early to be alarmed with the Warriors still navigating through injuries.
Reached by phone Thursday, Murphy's agent, Dan Fegan, confirmed that he's spoken to team executives about Murphy's status.
"What I can say is we've discussed the situation," Fegan said. "It's still early. I have confidence that we'll figure this situation out."
That could mean a split before February's trading deadline. League sources said the Warriors have been shopping both Murphy, who has four years and $42 million left on his contract, and forward Mike Dunleavy, whom Golden State discussed with the Clippers over the summer.
With Dunleavy's father, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., recently signing a contract extension, one source said it's likely those talks could get serious if the Clippers can clear salary space. The Clippers' Corey Maggette has already asked out of Los Angeles, as has veteran forward P.J. Brown in Chicago.
The Warriors also need to move contracts if they want to avoid paying a luxury tax with Mickael Pietrus entering free agency this summer and Andris Biedrins due for a contract extension.
Meanwhile, Murphy said the focus is on nursing his Achilles back to health.
"You ever go to a college campus and you're not a student there? You're just kind of walking around," he said. "I'm just trying to get myself healthy and get back on the floor right now."
Back surgery for Cabarkapa: Forward Zarko Cabarkapa is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The surgery will be performed at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins, who operated on former Warrior Chris Taft in March.
Cabarkapa has missed the entire season after taking an awkward spill during practice in October, and his back was not responding to aggressive rehabilitation.
"He's frustrated because this was a big year for him," agent Bill Duffy said. "He worked extremely hard over the course of the summer in preparation for the season. He loves the style they play and it's conducive to how he plays, but obviously, he hasn't been out there."
It's unclear whether Cabarkapa, a free agent to be, will be able to play again this year.
"We're hopeful that he can return at some point in the season. That's the goal," Duffy said. "But we're certainly not going to rush it."
Briefly: Nelson said he won't use Jason Richardson in back-to-back games as he works his way back from various knee ailments, essentially ruling the guard out of Saturday's game in Miami. ... Monta Ellis (sprained left foot) will be a game-time decision. Nelson said Ellis will continue to come off the bench as he moves Richardson back to shooting guard.
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8 posts • Page 1 of 1
I agree, even the clippers aren't that stupid, however this is an interesting quote from Chad Ford (who is a know-nothing blowhard)
Mike D (LA): Chad, what will it take to get Jr. playing for me before the trade deadline?
Chad Ford: I think this will happen. Mike Sr. and I have been talking about this for the last two years and he said on my podcast a few weeks ago he'd still like to make it happen. The obvious deal is to swap him for Corey Maggette, however he's a base year compensation player which means that the Warriors need him to be part of a bigger trade or ... they need a third team with some cap room to help facilitate the deal.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
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