The Knicks can sign players to 10-day contracts starting January 5th, and P&T has been scouring the planet in hopes of finding a useful guard for their open 15th roster spot. We've already covered Elliot Williams and Tony Wroten. For Part 3, let's return to visit an old friend: Toure' Murry.
Once upon a time, near the end of the Mike Woodson Era, New York employed a rookie combo guard with a strong defensive mindset, but little to offer on the other side of the court. Has Toure' Murry improved his offensive game in the 19 months?
Perhaps. Murry has displayed an intriguing all-around game this season with the D-League Texas Legends, averaging 13.8 points (44.1 FG%, 32.7 3P%), 5.2 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.8 turnovers and 2.2 blocks. He's still not a good jump-shooter, but his dribbling, passing and court vision have all improved dramatically since his time in New York.
Here is a clip is from last season. Murry was quite adept at setting up Clint Capela.
This clip comes from earlier in the month. Plenty of nice pocket passes, dishes to bigs popping out to the three-point arc, and lightning-quick entry feeds to bigs near the bucket.
This scouting report, courtesy of Ridiculous Upside's Keith Schlosser, reminds us what Murry is capable of on the defensive end:
Murry isn't the best shooter, and his driving ability will continue to improve as long as instincts (and perhaps some added confidence) do as well. Part of the reason why that is, is because Murry is a very unselfish player. When youngsters aim to prove they can fit in anywhere and contribute in ways other than scoring the basketball, sometimes they can be unselfish to a fault. Nevertheless, Murry truly stands out as a taller guard who can rebound the ball and create mismatches at multiple positions. He's a very good defender --- quick, agile, and pestering. His instincts on that end of the floor are much more polished.
Would he fit in the Triangle? Who the hell cares? He's a guard who isn't afraid to hit a big man rolling to the rim. He's a better rebounder than any other guard on the Knicks' roster (New York ranks 25th in DRB%), and he plays the passing lanes aggressively (New York ranks dead last in opponent TOV%).
I plan on profiling several more guard candidates, but Murry is probably my favorite. I prefer D-League call-ups who have already shown a tendency to fit in as a role player. I liked the kid in 2013-14, and he appears to me to be a legitimate NBA player. Let's bring him back, Phil!