WALTHAM – Erik Murphy may have been born in France, played his college basketball in Florida and wore a uniform for Finland at last month’s World Cup of basketball but he says he’s a New England boy at heart.

That’s why when his phone rang last Thursday, the South Kingstown resident couldn’t hide his enthusiasm. Murphy was traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers and will report to training camp Tuesday morning wearing the green and white of the Boston Celtics.

“I’m pretty excited, for sure,” he said. “I grew up down the road in Rhode Island and it’s a special feeling to come back to New England.”

Murphy, 23, says the Celtics were his favorite NBA team growing up in South Kingstown. He was a high school star at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass., and then an All-SEC pick as a senior playing for the Florida Gators.

That hoping around is nothing compared to what the 6-10 forward has endured over the last year. Last September, he began his pro career as a second round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls. Murphy watched and learned that majority of the season in Chicago but was waived in April due to a salary cap squeeze. He was picked up two days later by the Utah Jazz but never played for that team.

On July 22, he was shipped to Cleveland and faced the prospect of a potential championship drive with LeBron James and Kevin Love leading the way. Then came yet another trade but this one was certainly a welcomed one.

“It was unexpected and kind of came out of nowhere but it was definitely a cool feeling to come back home to New England,” Murphy said. It’s been hectic but it’s been a lot of fun, too. I’ve learned a lot about the business side of things.”

Unlike …read more