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Troy Murphy simply gives the Lakers more bodies

December 17, 2011 |  8:21 pm

Nearly every Laker fan anxiously awaits whether they ever actually pull off a big move.

Rightfully so, considering the gaping hole the Lakers have after trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. But as much as the Lakers' front office must address that need, it's possible that won't happen right away, or even at all. So in the short term, the Lakers simply need to ensure they have actually enough bodies at least to mitigate the depleted frontcourt depth.

And that's where veteran forward Troy Murphy fits in, signing to a one-year $1.4 million contract with the Lakers Saturday after working out in front of the team's coaches on Wednesday. Just like the frontcourt's reserves last year in Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith, it's possible he may not provide enough relief for Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Last season, Murphy suffered a back injury two weeks before the season opener averaged only 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds with New Jersey and Boston. But for the Lakers remaining locked in to sign players at the veteran's minimum, for better or worse, this is the reality the Lakers face.

"I'm not sure how much playing time he would get here or how much the coaching staff will use him, but we definitely need some more depth inside," Gasol said Saturday. "He can shoot the ball consistently from outside and he's a player that's been around, so he's experienced."

Should Murphy, 31, arrive into the 2011-12 season healthy, it's likely he'd provide a role, although it's more likely veteran-forward Josh McRoberts would start for at least when Bynum serves a five-game suspension for throwing a forearm against Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the 2011 playoffs. Before his aforementioned injuries, Murphy averaged 14.4 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana while shooting 41.8% from three-point range.

"He's a good player," Gasol said. "He definitely has a lot of range shooting the ball. He can shoot the ball consistently from the outside and he's a player that's been around so he's experienced."


Troy Murphy working out at the Lakers' facility

Free-agent profile: Troy Murphy

--Mark Medina

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