In a recent interview, Chicago Bulls rookie Erik Murphy emphasized that he understands his primary role on his new team will be to help stretch the floor. Murphy, who will play power forward for the Bulls, spent the past three seasons playing for Billy Donovan at the University of Florida, where he excelled as a 3-point shooter.
In each of his three years at Florida, Murphy shot 40 percent or better from behind the arc. His best season was last year when he averaged two 3-point field goals a game while shooting slightly over 45 percent.
Thus, Murphy will play a similar role with the Bulls that he did in Florida. It is no secret that 3-point shooting was one of Chicago’s biggest weaknesses last year and something that they have tried to address this offseason, which is why they drafted Murphy with the 49th pick in this year’s draft.
It is good news for the Bulls that the rookie understands what his role will be when he steps onto the court. When Murphy gets a chance to play, he will be expected to do things: knock down open jump shots and space out the floor to open the driving lane for Derrick Rose.
As a second-round draft pick playing for a coach in Tom Thibodeau, who is not exactly known for giving rookies extensive playing time, Murphy may have some trouble cracking the Bulls rotation early on in the year.
However, it is reassuring that the Florida rookie understands what will be expected of him while he is on the court. If Murphy can pick up where he left off in college and continue to knock down 3-point shots, he should fit in just fine in Chicago.