The Chicago Bulls have high hopes for their chances in the 2013-2014 NBA season. Of course, much of that hope is derived from the return of their star point guard Derrick Rose and also around the further development of guys like Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah with Rose returning to the floor. There is a lot to be excited about with the Bulls this year.
The new additions to the Bulls are also going to be huge for their chances this season. Mike Dunleavy will give their bench an offensive spark and rookie Tony Snell should be able to give Chicago solid production off of the bench as well. However, their other rookie, Erik Murphy, could potentially have an impact too, though not many people are talking about it.
Murphy was selected in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Bulls with the 49th overall pick. He played power forward for four years at Florida, though he never really showed other worldly production while in college. In his senior season he averaged 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.4 minutes per game. Impressively, though, he did shoot 51.6 percent from the floor and 45.3 percent from three.
At the Las Vegas Summer League this year, Murphy continued to look solid. In five games he averaged 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Murphy is a solid scorer and rebounder who doesn’t provide much else to a team, but his ability to stretch the floor offensively makes him a potential asset. As of right now, he’s likely to be buried on the bench and not be a part of the Bulls’ rotation, but that doesn’t mean an opportunity wont’ arise.
Taj Gibson, the Bulls backup power forward, missed 17 games last season and, though that’s the only time he’s missed in his young career, big men are always getting nicked up. Moreover, Carlos Boozer, the starter, has missed significant time over his career despite being healthy last season. If injuries arise, Murphy could find himself with playing time as the backup power forward. If that were to happen, he could really raise his value.