Murphy receives buyout, appears headed to Celts


Murphy receives buyout, appears headed to Celts

By A.Sherrod Blakely

SALT LAKE CITY A league source has confirmed that Troy Murphy has come to terms on a buyout with the Golden State Warriors, which will pave the way for the 6-foot-10 inch forward to sign with the Boston Celtics. The buyout is pending league approval, which won't come about until sometime on Monday.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News was the first to report Murphy's buyout.

While it's not a done deal that Murphy will be a Celtic, all indications are pointing in that direction.

Adding Murphy bolsters a Boston frontline that, while talented, has proven to be extremely frail.

Starting center Kendrick Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. But even before the trade, Perkins was out with a left knee injury.

Shaquille O'Neal will be Boston's full-time starter at center, but he has been out with a right Achilles tendon injury the past nine games.

Jermaine O'Neal had surgery on his left knee, and he's not due back until the end of March at the earliest.

Currently the Celtics have just one true center, Nenad Krstic, who was acquired in the Perkins trade with Oklahoma City on Thursday.

The only other team that's currently a serious contender for Murphy, is the Miami Heat. A league source said the New York Knicks might make a last-minute run at him as well.

Like the Celtics, Miami would love to add another big man whose perimeter-shooting skills could help space the floor more.

But joining the Heat might be a bit more complicated.

Miami has 15 players with guaranteed contracts, which means a player has to waived.

It is unclear if the Heat would be willing to do that.

Meanwhile, the Celtics have three open roster spots following their trading frenzy on Thursday in which they shipped out a third of their roster while taking back just two players (Jeff Green and Krstic).

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”