Warriors buy out Murphy; Bibby next?

Atlanta Hawks Mike Bibby shoots a jump shot in the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 27, 2010. The Hawks defeated the Knicks 99-90. UPI/John Angelillo

Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News reports that the Warriors have agreed to buy out Troy Murphy.

As insisted by Warriors owner Joe Lacob, one source said, Murphy agreed to sign only with an Eastern Conference team.

Exact details of the agreement were not available, but it is believed that the percentage subtracted by the Warriors will correspond relatively to the pro-rated salary Murphy can be expected to receive from his next team.

Murphy won’t make as money in this as he could’ve (when you’re bought out for 100%, everything else you sign for is extra money), but he won’t lose money, either.

Kawakami cites monetary savings, team chemistry and fostering a good relationship with Murphy’s agent, Dan Fegan, as reasons for the Warriors to get this done.

Both Miami and Boston have expressed interest in Murphy, who as recently as last season averaged a double-double (14.6 points, 10.2 rebounds) for the Indiana Pacers. It was no fluke, either. Murphy also averaged a double-double in the 2008-09 season.

He can help both Boston and Miami, but I’d argue that the Heat need him more. He’s a career 39% three-point shooter, so he can make opposing bigs pay for helping in the lane on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He’s not a terribly good defender, but he has a high basketball IQ and rebounds well. I just wonder what kind of shape he’s in after riding the pine in New Jersey this season.

Any team that signs him can only offer the veteran’s minimum, so it’s about the best fit for Murphy. It appears that there are more minutes available in Miami, but with a last name like Murphy, isn’t Boston the place to be?

Mike Bibby is another buyout candidate and according to the Washington Post, his agent will be meeting with the Wizards this week to discuss terms.

The two sides have had preliminary discussions, according to two league sources, but no formal proposals have been made. Bibby makes $5.8 million this season and is on the books for $6.4 million next season. Bibby would have to sacrifice a lot of money and get waived by Tuesday in order to be eligible to join a playoff team this season.

Portland, Miami and Boston are reportedly interested in signing Bibby if he can reach an agreement.

He’d also be a good fit in Miami, where he could easily start at point over Mario Chalmers and/or Carlos Arroyo. He’s a career 38% three-point shooter and is hitting at a 44% clip this season.

If the Heat can add both Bibby and Murphy, Pat Riley will cement his status as Executive of the Year for 2010-11.

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