Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Clippers Sign No. 1 Pick Murray to Five-Year Deal

October 22, 1994|CHRIS BAKER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

California forward Lamond Murray will replace the player he grew up idolizing, All-Star forward Dominique Wilkins, who left the Clippers to sign an $11-million, three-year contract with the Boston Celtics last summer.

Murray, the Clippers' top draft pick, signed a $13.5-million, five-year deal with the club Thursday. Murray, who won't play in tonight's exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings at UC Davis, will join the team for practice Sunday night at UC Irvine.

"(Wilkins) was only here a half-season, so I don't think that I would be replacing him because he only stayed for a brief period of time," Murray said at a news conference Friday at the Sports Arena.

The seventh player selected in the draft, Murray missed the first two weeks of training camp because of contract negotiations. But he doesn't think he'll have trouble preparing for the Clippers' season-opener against the Portland Trail Blazers in Yokohama, Japan, on Nov. 4.

"It was very stressful not being in camp and not being there the beginning day with all your teammates," Murray said. "I have a lot of catching up to do."

Clipper General Manager Elgin Baylor said Murray has a bright future. "He has the ability to be an All-Star," Baylor said. "The guy's a very talented player. No one is saying he's going to come in and turn everything around. He's not Shaquille O'Neal or Michael Jordan, we all understand that. Players like that are capable of making an immediate impact and turning a franchise around. But he's going to be a very important part of the success of this franchise."

Murray, 6 feet 7 and 236 pounds, averaged 24.3 points to lead the Pacific 10 in scoring last season. He needed only three seasons to surpass Kevin Johnson as Cal's leading scorer with 1,688 points.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|