The Utah Jazz announced today that the team had decided to waive center Andris Biedrins and sign power forward Erik Murphy. This brings Utah’s roster to the full 15, since Murphy essentially took the place of Biedrins.
Murphy, a 6’10” forward, last played for the Chicago Bulls. He was selected as the 49th overall player by the Bulls in the 2013 NBA draft, after a four-year career at the University of Florida. He played for Chicago until April 3rd, 2014, when the team waived him. Utah picked him up two days later.
Murphy had a decent collegiate career. He became the 49th Florida Gator to record 1,000 points in a college career, and was named to the All-SEC Tournament team in 2012 and 2013.
His senior season was by far the most successful at Florida. He averaged 12.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 51% from the field and 45% from behind the three-point line. This is in stark contrast to his freshman season, where he only scored 3.5 points and grabbed 2.4 rebounds per game. Interestingly enough, Murphy didn’t attempt a single 3-point shot in his freshman season. He added that aspect of his game from his sophomore season onwards.
Murphy averaged .3 points and .3 rebounds per game for the Bulls during his time with them in the 2013-14 NBA season. Murphy only attempted 16 field goals in his time with the Bulls, but he did attempt a few 3-point shots, which might point at an ability to carry his collegiate 3-point shooting over to the NBA.
He only saw 2.6 minutes in only 24 games, as Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau is famous around the league for playing very limited rotations. His role with the Jazz isn’t clear at this time, as there are very few remaining games in this 2013-14 NBA season. Murphy will most likely see some time in the summer league playing for the Jazz.
Murphy’s father, Jay Murphy, is a former NBA player. He saw time with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Washington Bullets. Murphy’s mother, Pavi, played for the Finland women’s national basketball team from 1988-1994. Murphy’s younger brother Alex now also plays basketball at Florida.