After a great first half of the season where he helped push the Grand Rapids Drive to be one of the D-League’s best offensive teams, it appears that Kevin Murphy might be on the verge of making his way back to the NBA. Murphy’s potential return to the NBA is due to the Minnesota Timberwolves expressing an interest in signing Kevin Murphy to a 10-day contract, sources tell Ridiculous Upside.
Minnesota’s interest in Murphy reportedly began earlier this month when their starting shooting guard Zach LaVine went down with a torn ACL in his left knee. Following that unfortunate injury, the Timberwolves looked to a shooting guard to help fill the gap that was left with LaVine’s absence. While the Timberwolves showed interest in Murphy, the team ended up acquiring veteran guard Lance Stephenson to a 10-day deal.
Unfortunately, the Timberwolves battle with the injury bug continued after the addition of Lance Stephenson. On February 14th, just six days after he was acquired, Stephenson suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain in Minnesota’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephenson’s injury put an unfortunate end to his time with the team as he didn’t receive a second 10-day contract from the Timberwolves.
Stephenson’s release means that Murphy might receive a second look from the Timberwolves. The intrigue regarding Murphy from the Minnesota Timberwolves, or any NBA team, is definitely warranted as he’s stood as an elite D-League guard during the current season. In 34 games with the Drive, Murphy has averaged 22.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on 44% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc. Murphy’s perimeter work is especially impressive due to how he hasn’t shot better than 38% from beyond the arc since he graduated from Tennessee Tech.
Although Murphy is expected to start the 2nd half of the season with the Drive, he might not be there for long. At this point, the Timberwolves only have one shooting guard on their roster (Brandon Rush) that’s actually able to play. That situation could push the squad to bringing in Kevin Murphy, or any other D-Leaguer, to stand as a temporary fix for their injury-ridden backcourt. While there’s plenty of great options out there, Murphy might stand as the one player that can immediately come in and provide a versatile scoring option for the Timberwolves.