Lakers Rumors: Troy Murphy Would Be Terrific Under-the-Radar Addition for Lakers

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2011

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 28:  Troy Murphy #3 of the Indiana Pacers against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 28, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers must regroup after watching point guard Chris Paul slip through their fingers and into the hands of the Clippers. Troy Murphy, who is one of two possible veteran additions according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, would be a great start.

Bresnahan wrote: "Power forward Troy Murphy worked out at their facility Wednesday, though the Lakers could only offer him a veteran's-minimum contract of about $1.4 million if they liked him."

Murphy struggled with injuries last season. He was held to just 35 games and played limited minutes when healthy for the New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics.

The previous two seasons were a completely different story for the 31-year-old Notre Dame product. He averaged a double-double in both campaigns while also chipping in a couple assists per game. If the Lakers could get that version of Murphy, they'd be getting a major bargain at $1.4 million.

Murphy is a power forward who can help stretch the defense by stepping out beyond the arc and knocking down the three. He can also make plays in the paint and shoots free throws well, so when healthy he's quite the weapon.

There's always a risk involved with signing a player coming off an injury-plagued season, but the potential reward far outweighs it.

It would also open up some interesting possibilities concerning Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. He's been pulled off the trade block for the time being, based on a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, but talks could heat back up before the deadline.

If Murphy is able to step in and provide another threat in the low post, the Lakers could consider trading both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in a deal for the All-Star center.

It's something Los Angeles hasn't considered plausible to this point, but depending on their interest level in Howard, it could work out better if they have another consistent threat like Murphy available. At the very least, it's an intriguing idea to consider.

With so many teams in need of help up front, it's somewhat shocking Murphy hasn't garnered more interest on the open market. His track record prior to last season was solid. He'd seemingly be a nice low-risk addition for virtually any team.

As long as the team's doctors don't see any significant problems with him, the Lakers should pounce at the opportunity. The worst thing that can happen is he flames out again and they let him go at season's end.

The move wouldn't make major waves, especially with Paul dominating local headlines, but it could turn into gold for the Lakers.