On Apr. 3, the Chicago Bulls said goodbye to center Erik Murphy. Murphy, a rookie out of the University of Florida, never really saw the light of day off of the Bulls’ bench. In fact, in only 24 games played this season, Murphy averaged a mere .3 point and .3 rebounds in two minutes of play.
Drafted 49th overall by the Bulls, Murphy was drafted by Chicago because of his 6-foot-10 height with the ability to shoot the outside shot. However, with veteran Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson and Nazr Mohammed ahead of him in the rotation, Murphy was only used in garbage time of games.
Although Murphy wasn’t much of a contributor this season, his open roster spot could pay big dividends for the Bulls with the playoffs just two weeks away. There are still a handful of veterans who were released before Mar. 1, and thus have playoff eligibility if they are signed by another team. Available players include Metta World Peace, Roger Mason Jr. and Antawn Jamison. Former Bull and fan favorite Ben Gordon was cut loose by the Charlotte Bobcats in March, but was released after the Mar. 1 deadline.
The Bulls could also sign point guard Mike James the rest of the way. James, who was signed to a flurry of 10-day contracts earlier in the season, knows head coach Tom Thibideau‘s system, so it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the team signing him again. Another former Bull who could return is Ronnie Brewer. Brewer was let go by the Houston Rockets in February, and was a good mentor to then rookie Jimmy Butler during the 2011-12 NBA season.
No matter who the Bulls decide to add before the playoffs, it is safe to say that it will be a longtime veteran with postseason experience.