OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - First came a trade for Deron Williams. Then came a little bench boost and some salary cap space for comfort.
Hours after completing a blockbuster deal that landed All-Star point guard Deron Williams, the New Jersey Nets bolstered their bench with two backup big men while sending Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
The Nets acquired the expiring contracts of Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric, whose deals are worth about $11 million combined this year, close to the same for Murphy. The Warriors are expected to buy out Murphy’s contract if they can’t move him in another deal before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
“We are very pleased to add Dan and Brandan to our roster,” Nets general manager Billy King said. “Dan is an NBA veteran who will add depth to our frontcourt rotation, while Brandan is a young player who we feel has significant room to grow and develop in our system.”
This will hardly be a Bay Area reunion for Murphy.
He was taken by the Warriors with the 14th overall pick in the 2001 draft. Then he was dealt to Indiana in 2007 and traded to New Jersey before this season, never panning out. Golden State has no plans to keep him and was working to buy out the final year on Murphy’s contract.
The 6-foot-11, 245-pound center will likely draw strong interest from playoff teams who are looking for another big man, such as Orlando, Miami and Dallas. Murphy has averaged 11.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in his career, but has played only 18 games because of injuries this season.
The Warriors had been fielding calls all season hoping to land a big name. They’ll have to settle on trying to stockpile draft picks, a formula new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have said is a priority for a franchise that is used to trading them away.
“Our draft-pick situation could use some help. There’s no doubt about that,” Warriors general manager Larry Riley said. “So that’s one of the things we actually are trying to address. We’re trying to acquire draft picks. We’re not going to be foolish about it. But whenever we have an opportunity to acquire a draft pick within reason, we’ll do that.”