The New York Knicks summer league team wasn't very impressive. It had a lot of raw talent on it but not many players ready to make any type of impact on the NBA level. However, there were two players that particularly stood out. One was Jeremy Tyler who the Knicks signed as a power forward prospect who will act as depth on the low block this season. The other was point guard Toure Murry who became very popular with Knicks fans. The Knicks had invited Murry to their training camp when the summer league had ended but their flirtation with other point guards and his desire for a guaranteed contract left him reluctant to accept it. However, Murry has now accepted the invite and will join the Knicks in training camp hoping to land a contract with New York.
In what can be described as easily the worst timing for the New York Knicks of the off-season Toure Murry has finally decided to accept the team's offer to come to training camp. Murry is a young, talented player so normally this would be very good news. However, things actually broke right for the Knicks for once and they've already filled in their point guard depth.
Now only do the Knicks already have Raymond Felton, but they were able to re-sign Pablo Prigioni and then wait out and eventually sign Beno Udrih as their third point guard. It would seem like there's simply no longer room for Murry with the Knicks this season.
However, there could still be hope for Murry in New York. First of all, none of the point guards under contract with New York are considered long-term answers at the position. That could mean the Knicks may have interest in using their final roster spot to stash and groom their point guard of the future.
Second, Murry has the ability to play shooting guard as well which makes him versatile. It would seem that with Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. the Knicks have more than enough depth at the two-guard. That being said, with Smith requiring off-season knee surgery the Knicks could decide to sign Murry as insurance until Smith is healthy and then either keep him on the end of the bench or cut him loose.
Third of all, since he clearly hasn't gotten any other offers worth accepting it's entirely possible that Murry can come in to training camp and earn himself a contract with the Knicks' D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. There Murry would be able to continue his development and learn the Knicks system. It would also allow the franchise to keep an eye on him in case anyone suffers an injury or if the Knicks would like to offer him a contract for the following season.
It should be noted that Marc Stein of ESPNNewYork reports Murry chose the Knicks' invite over one from the two-time reigning champions Miami Heat, who have only 13 players under contract.
Murry won raves in the Las Vegas summer league for his hard-nosed play and defensive presence at 6-foot-5, most notably from Knicks legendary broadcaster Walt Frazier. Sources say that Frazier's high praise was among the factors that convinced him to try to make the Knicks' roster even after the recent signing of free agent Beno Udrih as a third point.
Any way you look at it, Murry accepting this invite is a positive. Clearly it would have been a better situation for Murry, as far as trying to make the final roster, had he accepted the invite early instead of waiting till after the Knicks signed Udrih. However, there's no way for this to be a negative for the franchise which is certainly more important than any given player.
The worst thing that happens is the Knicks have added another talented player to their training camp roster. The best thing that could come of this is the Knicks keeping him on their roster and ending up with another young talented guard. Probably the most realistic thing that could happen would be the Knicks signing him to their D-League squad. Either way, this is a win-win-win for the Knicks.
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