Coveted forward Troy Murphy picked the Boston Celtics and snubbed the Miami Heat on Tuesday, setting off what should be an extremely eventful buyout season in the NBA.
Murphy was traded last week from the New Jersey Nets to the Golden State Warriors before working out a buyout agreement, making him a free agent. He was perhaps the most coveted of several players seeking buyouts, and a bidding war ensued between Eastern Conference favorites Boston and Miami.
But Murphy chose the Celtics, according to ESPN.com, adding depth to a front line that had been briefly depleted following the trade of Kendrick Perkins last Thursday.
Others who have received buyouts include Mike Bibby, Corey Brewer and Rasual Butler, making for what should be an interesting frenzy of negotiations as contenders try to add the missing piece to a championship run.
Many believed the Celtics gave that piece up in the Perkins trade. Among those initially panning the deal were Boston's veterans, who grew to love Perkins in what was perhaps the league's tightest locker room.
But the Troy Murphy signing is a good one. He is a better-than-average rebounder - something the Celts will most certainly need with Perk gone - and can stretch the floor with his shooting ability, all of which will open the lane for the likes of superstar point guard Rajon Rondo and All-Star scorer Paul Pierce.
The emotional impact of the Perkins trade lingers, and could take some time to get over in the Boston locker room. And blending Murphy, as well as fellow newcomers Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, into the everyday rotation will requite an adjustment, but the Celtics appear ready to challenge for a spot in the NBA Finals, as expected before the flurry of moves.
In the end, Tuesday was just another victory for the Celtics over the Miami Heat, as Troy Murphy chose Celtic green over Heat black-and-red.
And buyout week has only just begun.