Murphy receives buyout, appears headed to Celts


By A.Sherrod Blakely

SALT LAKE CITYA league source has confirmed that Troy Murphy has come to terms on a buyout with the Golden State Warriors, which will pave the way for the 6-foot-10 inch forward to sign with the Boston Celtics. The buyout is pending league approval, which won't come about until sometime on Monday.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News was the first to report Murphy's buyout.

While it's not a done deal that Murphy will be a Celtic, all indications are pointing in that direction.

Adding Murphy bolsters a Boston frontline that, while talented, has proven to be extremely frail.

Starting center Kendrick Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. But even before the trade, Perkins was out with a left knee injury.

Shaquille O'Neal will be Boston's full-time starter at center, but he has been out with a right Achilles tendon injury the past nine games.

Jermaine O'Neal had surgery on his left knee, and he's not due back until the end of March at the earliest.

Currently the Celtics have just one true center, Nenad Krstic, who was acquired in the Perkins trade with Oklahoma City on Thursday.

The only other team that's currently a serious contender for Murphy, is the Miami Heat. A league source said the New York Knicks might make a last-minute run at him as well.

Like the Celtics, Miami would love to add another big man whose perimeter-shooting skills could help space the floor more.

But joining the Heat might be a bit more complicated.

Miami has 15 players with guaranteed contracts, which means a player has to waived.

It is unclear if the Heat would be willing to do that.

Meanwhile, the Celtics have three open roster spots following their trading frenzy on Thursday in which they shipped out a third of their roster while taking back just two players (Jeff Green and Krstic).

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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