On Thursday, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers acquired Toure' Murry as a returning player after the young gun spent a little more than one season in The Association.
Of course, Murry's slow but steady climb began in 2012-13 when he started his professional career with RGV. His production increased as his on-the-court instincts developed, and come playoff time, he was a full-time starter. Alongside Glen Rice Jr., Murry helped lead the Rockets' minor league affiliate to the D-League championship.
His numbers may not have been all that dominant --- he averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.8 steals through postseason play -- but his sound fundamentals were enough to catch the attention of the New York Knicks. After an impressive stint in NBA Summer League, Murry earned himself a spot on the roster.
In addition to his evidently high basketball IQ, Murry is a guy who likes to get after it on the defensive end. He's quick, ever so reactive, and applies the ball pressure necessary to pester opposing ball-handlers. On the offensive end, his calm nature is something that clearly wins him brownie points. He makes the right plays in the right ways. Like most youngsters, Murry can sometimes be a little overzealous when he gets too excited on the hardwood. That said, he looks most like a deserving NBA pro when remembering those who are slow and steady (and otherwise calm, cool, and collected on offense) find success.
Murry can bring high-octane energy and push the tempo when necessary, but to be a point guard in the NBA, one needs to know how to orchestrate. At 6'5" and 190 pounds, perhaps teams in The Association (arguably more so than Murry himself) are still trying to figure out where he ultimately fits, which may make it more difficult to stick as the 25 year old continues to come into his own as a pro.
But in even event, despite such potential being present, Phil Jackson's rebuild of the Knicks called for Murry being an odd out as this season began. From there, he signed with the Utah Jazz.
As fate would have it, the guard spent more time on the court with the NBADL affiliated Idaho Stampede than Utah. Ironically enough, his numbers while on assignment were nearly identical, across the board, to those he posted while leading RGV to a D-League title.
Since released by the Jazz, Murry will again strut his stuff for RGV. While the Rockets may not necessarily be the top team inquiring about and/or otherwise interested in the young gun, they do hold his rights. There's no denying the Vipers could benefit from a player of his caliber.
And for the second-year NBA vet, once again playing in the minor league will provide him with the opportunity to put his talents on display for all thirty big league teams. After all, the 2015 D-League Showcase is less than one week away.
As evidenced by his production during his postseason run with RGV, and most recently while on assignment in Idaho, there's no doubt Murry can shine, given proper playing time. How long, however, it takes another team to catch on to such prowess, remains to be seen.