Ever since Omer Asik left in free agency two seasons ago, the Chicago Bulls have been searching for a big man who can back up Joakim Noah. Veteran Nazr Mohammed is a presence in the locker room, but playing only seven minutes per game, he is far from a presence on the court.
Taj Gibson has played a hybrid power forward-center role off the bench, but it is one of the worst kept secrets around the Bulls’ organization that he will be starting next season. So where do the Bulls turn to add depth behind Noah?
If the team decides that the draft is the best way to go, an interesting move could be Alex Kirk from the University of New Mexico. Kirk is listed at 6-foot-11 with good hands. Chicago should be familiar with him considering the team scouted and drafted Tony Snell from the same school last season.
Kirk averaged 8.7 rebounds per game as a junior to go along with 13.3 points. He could be available at pick No. 49 in the second round if the Bulls don’t decide to address their depth at center with a first-round pick.
Kirk was not a good three-point shooter last season at 21 percent, but that did not stop him from taking two threes per game last season. Kirk averaged 2.7 blocks per game as a junior, so he is willing and able to protect the rim. Snell would make his adjustment to the NBA, and more specifically Tom Thibodeau, easier since they were teammates at UNM.