According to a report by ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Utah Jazz and former New York Knicks guard Toure Murry are finalizing details on a two-year, $2 million deal. It has been widely asserted that the Jazz and GM Dennis Lindsey have been coveting players that could play spot minutes on the wing or at point. In Murry, they may have found someone that can do both, thus improving their guard depth.
At 6-foot-5 and just over 200 pounds, Murry will almost always have a size advantage when he’s on the floor as a point guard. He’s also big enough to match up with two guards defensively. This is not unlike the situation the Jazz had last season with Diante Garrett or now with Dante Exum.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder has stressed the importance of being able to put players in multiple spots, so if Murry can capitalize on his size, he may be able to find minutes in Snyder’s rotation.
The Jazz did pick up the option on second-year combo guard Ian Clark, but Clark is much smaller than Murry. Clark, though a skilled shooter, also struggles to get his jumper off against NBA defenders. For these reasons, Murry is a low-risk signing with the potential to improve on what the team already has. When Murry received extended minutes in games toward the end of last season, he showed potential as a scorer and distributer.
There are conflicting reports out there that indicate a deal may not be as close as Stein has reported. According to Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy, Murry’s agent Bernie Lee has said that a deal with Utah is “news to him.” But if the initial report proves true, the Jazz may have found their third point guard.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a move that adds wins to the Jazz, and Murry needs to improve in order to stay in the league. His assist percentage is low, his turnover percentage is high, and his free throw shooting has regressed since college. However, his size is a great asset, the potential is there, and if he can pull it all together, it’s a good get on the cheap for Lindsey and the Jazz.