HoopsHype Kevin Murphy rumors

August 16, 2012 Updates
July 3, 2012 Updates
June 19, 2012 Updates

The Nuggets welcomed four other draft prospects to the Pepsi Center on Monday, including 6-foot-9 forward Andrew Nicholson, a possible first-round pick from St. Bonaventure who averaged 18.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. Iowa State's Royce White rescheduled his Denver workout for next week, so the Nuggets brought in Colorado forward Austin Dufault to create three-on-three competition. Also in Denver were 6-6 guards Will Barton of Memphis and Kevin Murphy of Tennessee Tech. Denver Post

June 18, 2012 Updates

With the 2012 NBA Draft approaching, the Denver Nuggets evaluated six college prospects at Pepsi Center on Monday. Among the group was University of Colorado power forward Austin Dufault, a four-year starter who played in a school-record 136 games. It was Dufault’s first NBA workout. “It’s awesome (to be here in Denver),” Dufault said. “Over the last four years, I’ve turned into a Nuggets fan because they’ve been down the road (from Boulder). I’ve been to a couple of games and I’m familiar with their coaching staff. Just being able to come here and work out is a blessing and it’s an opportunity that I’m very thankful for.” Dufault was joined by Memphis guard Will Barton, Tennessee Tech guard Kevin Murphy, St. Bonaventure forward Andrew Nicholson, Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor and Kentucky guard Marquis Teague. NBA.com

June 15, 2012 Updates
May 30, 2012 Updates
November 10, 2011 Updates

And despite yet another deflated set of press conferences, there's plenty of reason for hope, which Stern knows. As he left the press conference early Thursday morning, after 12 hours of bargaining, Stern stopped in the crowded hallway to converse with the union's economist Kevin Murphy, who says he is trying to arrange his schedule to be here for the next session to start at noon. Stern encouraged Murphy to show up, saying "it will be a good day to be here." It was late. Stern was tired. The comment was vague. It did sound like a real promise of a deal. But it certainly didn't sound like a guy preparing to blow apart the talks with a dramatically lower offer, either. ESPN.com

October 28, 2011 Updates
October 27, 2011 Updates

NBA.com: People are familiar with a lot of the names and faces in the negotiations -- David Stern, Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher -- but you're largely unknown to fans and the media. Tell us what you do in the room. Kevin Murphy: My role is to try to really understand the various positions put forward by the sides and how they'll ultimately play out. You talk changes to the luxury tax system or changes to free agency, changes to just about anything, that all has pretty wide-ranging effects on length of contracts, guarantees, salaries, just about everything that matters to the players and to the owners. They're all interconnected, which makes it tough. NBA.com

NBA.com: Is economic analysis open to interpretation or do the numbers generate one "truth?" KM: In certain cases, it's relatively straightforward. In cases like this, there's more room for disagreement. All those moving parts, people can put them together in different ways. Everybody has their own vested numbers, so everybody shapes their numbers in their own direction. If they think 'it' could be between 6 and 12 and 6 is good for them and 12 is good for us, they'll say 7. That's not like making stuff up, that's just saying, 'I'm going to be cautious.' I usually try to say, 'I can't tell you for sure, but it's going to be between 6 and 12.' What's the consequence if it's 6? What's the consequence if it's 12? Sometimes I see things differently that maybe they haven't thought about. Hopefully that will help move the needle and help move their position a little bit. But my biggest role is to keep my side informed and tell them, 'If you agree to this, here's what's going to happen.' NBA.com

NBA.com: One effect of equalizing payrolls is you incentivize good players to go where the money is available. But another might be paying good money to players who might not deserve it, just because more franchises have to spend on ... somebody. KM: That's a problem. The other thing is, there is some relationship between pay and success but it's not nearly as strong as people think it is. Even if you were to completely equalize pay across teams, there still would be an enormous variation in strength of teams. In a statistical sense, the level of payroll of a team explains somewhere like 5 percent to 10 percent in the variation in outcomes. NBA.com

NBA.com: That's all? KM: That's it. I did a little experiment. All you have to do is take the overall distribution of win-loss percentages. Let them tell you what they think the relationship between salaries and wins is. They tell you 'This much spending is worth this many wins.' So then you take everybody's salary down to the mean or up to the mean. Then if you tell me you get an extra win for every $3 million you spend, I'm going to give everyone I'm moving up an extra win for each $3 million. Everybody I move down, I'm going to give one fewer win for each $3 million. NBA.com: And? KM: The relationship between salaries and the number of wins in a season is positive, but it's pretty weak. It certainly is not going to have a dramatic change in the distribution of outcomes. It might change who the winners are and who the losers are, but you're still going to have some teams that are much better than others. Because some people spend their money much more wisely than others do. NBA.com

NBA.com: Even at this late date, from interviews given by Hunter, Fisher and others on the players' side, there seems to be skepticism of the league's financial numbers, as if the audited figures aren't to be believed. KM: I would say the primary disagreement is not over the accounting numbers. It's what you include and how you interpret the numbers. For example, the accounting picture of the NBA isn't very different from what it was five years ago or 10 years ago in terms of ratio of revenues to costs and all the rest -- it's changed very little. Which immediately tells you, wait a minute, if the underlying financial picture is similar today to what it was five years ago or 10 years ago, and people are paying $400 million or whatever for franchises, and you're telling me that these things lose money every year, something's missing, right? These people aren't stupid, right? These guys are worth billions of dollars. So why did they pay all this money for franchises that, it looks like, lose money? NBA.com

NBA.com: Some cynics think the owners wanted to get to this point to squeeze the players via lost paychecks. KM: I think there's an element of that, a desire to see how far they could push the players to see when the players would crumble. Given that there was not a great cost ... it's almost too bad that it isn't more costly to lose the start of the season. If it had been, they wouldn't have done it. The idea that I can get this, like, almost-free test of the other side's resolve is tempting, right? NBA.com: So maybe they need to set the expiration date of the CBA right before the playoffs to raise the stakes. KM: That would make a difference. That's the old increase-the-cost way to get a deal. That's true of negotiations in general. It takes the threat of fire to get people to move. NBA.com

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