Utah Jazz claim Erik Murphy; Bulls receive cap relief

Utah Jazz claim Erik Murphy; Bulls receive cap relief
April 5, 2014, 11:15 pm
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Mark Strotman

The Utah Jazz claimed Erik Murphy off waivers two days after the Chicago Bulls released him in preparation for the playoffs.

The Jazz released center Andris Biedrins to make way for Murphy, who appeared in 24 games for the Bulls.

The rookie, who the Bulls selected with the No. 49 pick in last June's draft, will have a better chance at playing time in Utah than he did in Chicago, where he sat behind the Bulls' talented frotncourt of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer -- Murphy averaged just 2.6 minutes per game.

[RELATED: Bulls applaud recently waived Murphy's work ethic]

More importantly for the Bulls, the Jazz claiming Murphy off waivers means his salary of $490,180 is now off the books and gives the Bulls flexibility to avoid paying the luxury tax if Joakim Noah is named to the All-NBA First Team, which would earn him a $500,000 bonus. Had no team claimed Murphy off waivers the Bulls would have been responsible for paying his salary.

The Bulls reportedly worked out veteran point guard Mike James and wing Ronnie Brewer earlier this week after releasing Murphy, but they have not yet signed either player.