As Steve Luhm reported earlier Monday, the Jazz have sent rookie guard Kevin Murphy to the D-League for an assignment with the Reno BigHorns.
Following the Jazz's shoot around in advance of Monday's game versus Denver, Utah General Manager Dennis Lindsey said the team wants Murphy to get opportunities to play and learn to be a professional. The assignment is open-ended, but Murphy will be with the D-League affiliate for a minimum of five games.
Lindsey said, "We don't want him to be a 'pig' scorer," meaning that despite Murphy being the player with the most recent NBA experience he still is a team player.
"Our evaluation of him," Lindsey said, "is not going to be, 'You go score 40 points, we're bringing you back to the Jazz.'"
In addition to Lindsey, Jazz scouts Richard Smith and David Fredman will be in Reno to monitor Murphy's progress.
"We have skill and physical development goals that we sent along with him," Lindsey said. "We'll keep those more close to the vest. Ty and my approach wth Kevin was to give him the right mindset on the assignment."
Lindsey pointed to San Antonio's Danny Green and Sacramento's Chuck Hayes, who Lindsey worked with in Houston, as players who spent time in the D-League and returned to key roles with their teams.
"There's a lot of good examples that you can point to," Lindsey said. "Playing time, development, conditioning, rhythm, all supercede being the 13th, 14th option on an NBA bench. "
— Bill Oram
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