Former Shocker searching for NBA home

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Grant Cohen

Tour’e Murry, a former WSU guard, now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Former Wichita State men’s basketball guard Toure’ Murry is searching for a permanent home in the NBA.

After playing eight games for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this past July, the 26-year-old guard was offered a spot on Minnesota’s training camp roster.

Although he did play in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Miami Heat at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Murry said he thinks he has what it takes to earn one of the 15 roster spots with the Timberwolves for the 2016-17 season.

“Anytime you get an opportunity with teams, especially in the NBA, it’s a great opportunity for me,” Murry said. “I’m just taking advantage of whatever opportunities I get from the team and the coaches.”

Murry went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, after leading WSU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006. After his senior year, Murry played for the Los Angeles Lakers summer league team and was then selected 15th overall by the Austin Toros in the NBA Developmental League Draft.

Murry was traded to the Rio Grande Vipers, where he helped the team to its second NBA D-League Championship, averaging nine points and 1.8 steals per game. The next season, the New York Knicks signed Murry.

Although he bounced around to New York’s D-League affiliate, Erie Bayhawks, Murry played 51 games for the Knicks where he scored in double digits twice and had a career high of 15 points in his final game of the season against the Toronto Raptors.

He returned to the D-League, playing for the Idaho Stampede. Murry then bounced around from the Washington Wizards to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League, where he helped lead the Skyforce to its first NBA D-League Championship in franchise history in 2016.

Minnesota offered Murry a spot on its summer league squad. Murry made the most of his time in Las Vegas by averaging 6.4 points, three rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game in eight summer league games.

Minnesota fell to Chicago in the summer league’s championship game. Murry and fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft Kris Dunn were the only two non-returning members of the team to get offered spots on the training camp roster.

“The summer league helps you for the NBA because of the speed (of the game), how people guard, how people read ball screens,” Dunn said. “(Playing) definitely helped us a lot.”

Murry said head coach Tom Thibodeau has been putting him at shooting guard in practices. Murry played point guard for the three previous NBA teams that he was with.

“Position is just about spacing on the court,” Murry said. “At the end of the day, I’m a basketball player. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Not only is Murry a competitor and an athlete who makes them better everyday, teammate Tyus Jones said.

“He’s just a hard-nosed competitor,” Jones said. “He’s someone who is competing on both ends of the floor. He’s very, very scrappy, and he gets after it.”