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Utah Jazz Waive Andris Biedrins to Claim Rookie Erik Murphy from Bulls

Utah Jazz center Andris Biedrins before an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu
Joe FlynnContributor IApril 5, 2014

The Andris Biedrins era has officially ended in Utah.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Jazz will waive the Latvian big man to sign rookie Erik Murphy:

The Jazz acquired Biedrins last summer from the Golden State Warriors in a three-team trade that also brought Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush to Utah.

The 27-year-old Biedrins was once an integral part of the Golden State frontcourt. He led the NBA in field-goal percentage in 2007-08 and averaged a double-double with 11.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game the following season. But his play fell off considerably over the next few years, and the Warriors were eager to shed his salary.

And Utah certainly picked up a great deal of salary in the trade. According to Sham Sports, the Jazz paid $11 million to Jefferson, $9 million to Biedrins and $4 million to Rush in 2013-14.

And what did the Jazz get for Biedrins? Per Bleacher Report's Ethan Norof:

That's right, Jazz fans: Biedrins earned $3 million per point this season. That's nice work, if you can get it.

Biedrins did have a positive impact for the Jazz, however. The front office used his burdensome salary as leverage to pry draft picks away from the Warriors. They will be rid of those salaries after this season, but they will keep Golden State's 2014 first-round draft pick, 2016 second-round draft pick, 2017 first-round draft pick and 2017 second-round draft pick. That is quite a bounty.

The Jazz now have a chance to try out Murphy, a 6'10" rookie out of the University of Florida who was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 49th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. The big man has developed a reputation as a hard worker in practice, according to his former Chicago teammate, Taj Gibson. Per the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson:

So now the Jazz have an intriguing young big man and four draft picks. Andris Biedrins may have been a waste of space in Utah, but his legacy will live on with those prospects.

 

*All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.

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