NEWARK, N.J. -- Troy Murphy doesn’t know why it never worked out with the New Jersey Nets. And quite frankly, it doesn’t matter now, since Murphy will be headed to the playoffs for the first time in his career as a member of the Boston Celtics, who will take on the Nets on Monday night at the Prudential Center.
Murphy was supposed to be the starting power forward for the Nets until rookie Derrick Favors was ready to assume the role. However, injuries derailed his season, and eventually, Murphy lost his spot in the rotation to Kris Humphries.
The 30-year-old veteran was rumored to be traded in a three-team deal that would’ve brought Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. The Nets decided to have him stay home as they tried to complete a deal. But it never happened.
Murphy had to wait for a long time, but two months later, he was finally traded to the Golden State Warriors as part of the blockbuster deal that brought the Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams, and ended up signing a free-agent contract for the remainder of the season with the Celtics. Ironically, of course, Favors was also sent to the Utah Jazz in that trade.
“I understand it’s a business and it is what it is,” said Murphy, who is “excited” to be with his new team. “The Nets wanted to make some moves and they ended up getting a great one in getting Williams. They have a bright future. And I’m happy where I’m at.”
Murphy said the deciding factor in choosing Boston over the Miami Heat was its style of play.
“I wanted to go to the playoffs and they were poised to make a playoff run,” Murphy said. “The way they play, the way they share the ball was the deciding factor.”
Murphy, who inked his deal with the Celtics on March 2, has only been with the team for less than two weeks. He played 17 minutes on Sunday, scoring a season-high 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and adding seven rebounds in Boston’s 87-56 romping of the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I’m still trying to get my legs under me,” Murphy said.
Murphy said while he home in New York he continued to work out and stay in shape in the hopes that their would finally be some closure to his situation and he could move on.
“I couldn’t really do too much about it,” said Murphy, who understood that his expiring $12 million contract made him difficult to move “It was out of my control. I just tried to stay in it [mentally and physically].”
Nets head coach Avery Johnson said he hadn’t had a chance to talk to Murphy, but was happy for him.
“Troy was put in a tough situation here,” Johnson said. “Things didn’t work out. But hey, what more can you ask for? You go from a situation where we’re not on that level yet and you go to the favorite to come out of the East. I think it’ll be great for him.”
Notes: The Nets have announced that Monday night's game is a sellout. That should make Williams happy, although much of the crowd will likely be wearing green and white. Johnson also said before the game that backup point guard Ben Uzoh is being sent down to the team's D-League affiliate in Springfield, Mass.