Did the Bulls reach for Tony Snell? Will Erik Murphy make the team?

So according to the predraft mocks, the Bulls reached for Tony Snell with their first round pick. Let's remember for a moment that they reached for Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson while finding great value in drafting the sliding Marquis Teague.

I've learned not to put too much value in the evaluation of mock drafters compared to trusting in the Bulls own scouting department. The Bulls have done remarkably well with late picks in the draft, and quite honestly, I haven't watched enough college basketball to have an informed opinion. Here's what I can gather about Tony Snell though.

He's a really good shooter. He can shoot off the dribble. He can shoot off a screen. He can catch and shoot. He has NBA range. The Bulls came into the draft needing three things. Shooting, shot creation, and a fourth big man. Did they leave the draft filling those needs? Hard to say. Could they have filled all those needs? Probably not better than they did.

Snell, on paper, looks like a guy who can be molded into a good defender. He's got a near seven foot wing span, ridiculously low body fat, and should be able to fill up passing lanes. He's a high IQ player with a nice assist ratio, and seems like the type that could add a bit of off the dribble game if he can tighten up his handles.

In the end, I've gone through waves of disappointment and elation after Bulls draft day, but now, I'm going to sit back and have faith in the Bulls front office when it comes to scouting. Snell fits a lot of Bulls needs on paper, and Bulls liked him after working him out. Good enough for me for right now.

As for the 49th pick in the draft, we got a guy who plays PF for Florida and looks like David Lee, so that's got to count for something right? No idea if Erik Murphy is a guy who can play basketball at the NBA level, however, he sure as heck looks like a guy who could find a niche with the Bulls doesn't he?

He shot 45% from the three point line last season which is pretty damn awesome. Granted, unlike Snell and many other players, my guess is that he's not creating as many of his looks off the dribble which would enhance his percentages. Still, he launched 4.4 threes a game, so it's not like he shot an occasional three here and there.

He had a 9 foot standing reach, so while not having a huge wing span, he's at least playing as tall as Olynyk, Plumlee, Muscala, and Zeller who have similar standing reaches. He weighs 240 lbs and looks to already have some legit NBA muscle on him rather than being the typical big man who comes out of college and has to spend two years transforming his body.

His rebounding is disappointing for a big man, especially one that has as thick a body as he does, but I don't know if that's partially a function of his system. Clearly on offense he's likely hanging out to shoot threes rather than gathering offensive boards, but his numbers are low any way you slice it.

That said, he looks like a legit stretch four rather than big tall guy who can shoot but looks like an utter cream puff down low. However, since I've never watched a minute of Erik Murphy playing basketball, perhaps he's still a cream puff download and just looks pretty muscular. Don't know. A guy picked at 49 has a better shot of not making it on the team in most years than making it. I think Murphy makes the Bulls team and plays a limited role.

Reading up on the various players available, I think I like Tony Snell more than Tim Hardaway Jr for the Bulls. He's longer and a better shooter. I think Hardaway Jr got the mandatory NCAA bump in terms of his draft stock. Murphy looks like a guy who fits a niche the Bulls desperately need filled, so he's got a good shot to make the team as a late draft pick.

I'm not going to bother grading the Bulls draft now. I loved Marquis Teague and James Johnson and hated Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson on the day after the draft, so what would be the point? The Bulls took guys who fill needs on paper, and we'll just have to hope they're good enough players that they fill them on the court too.

No draft day trade for Chicago

Chicago was rumored to be very aggressive on draft day. They came out and said Luol Deng wasn't being shopped, and he's a big part of the future, yada yada yada, but I think Chicago aggressively looked to move him. Unsurprisingly, they found no takers. Deng's a good player, but as an unrestricted free agent in a year, it doesn't make much sense for a team to give up much to get him.

There's no sense trading up in this draft if you weren't going to get Oladip or McLemore [at least IMO], so the only thing you maybe wonder about is whether or not the Bulls could have traded down with say Cleveland and still landed Snell while grabbing another pick. That said, I'm not sure the Bulls really want to bring in more youth anyway, so I'm not sure it really would have mattered even if they could have grabbed Snell in a trade down scenario.

I can't say I'm surprised about the outcome, nor am I particularly disappointed. It would have been great to find a way to land LaMarcus Aldridge, but I don't see any reasonable way that could happen, and Portland didn't move him to anyone else either, so the possibility is as alive today as it was yesterday [which really isn't that alive].

Random amusing draft day thoughts

The ESPN guys reading Adrian Wojnarowski's twitter, reporting it on the air (including his mistakes), while mocking twitter at the same time? Kind of an epic fail right?

Also, how many times did we hear the phrase that a team was pressing the reset button because they drafted some dude? Sorry guys, no matter who you pick in the middle of the 1st round, it doesn't mean you expect that guy to replace the really good player at the same position. Usually it just means you think this guy could find a role on your team.

Especially when the draft is known to be weak in terms of talent.

No better example of this than when Portland drafted Grant Jerett with pick number 40, and I joked at the draft party "watch the announcers say this means they're trading LaMarcus Aldridge now", and despite the fact I thought no one could possibly say it, Jalen Rose made the comment [in apparent seriousness] about 10 seconds later.

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  • I don't think Snell was a reach at all! I think he will be a good player (difference is will he be a shooter/defender or will he be more)? He has the talent, but he just needs to be more aggressive!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Bulls draft selections were ok...I guess, these two draftees are gonna have to have something special to their games in order toget playing time with Thibs. So the Bulls basically will have the sa me team from last year with the addition of Rose returning. That's still not getting Rose the offensive help he needs for the Bulls to be a title contender. Bulls need to trade Deng, to who??? I really don't know cause his value as a two time all star stinks and no other team in the league really wants him now with his impending free agency coming up. The rumored trade for Aldridge needs to get done by the Bulls. Portland is basically rebuilding and Lamarcus wants no part of that. Bulls need to offer Deng, Bobcats pick, 2015 pick, Rip, and see if Portland would be interested in Boozer cause a big splash needs to be made by the Bulls. I personally look for the Bulls to be rebuilding when Rose contract is up after the 2015-2016 season if no big moves are made by the FO cause I'm sure Rose will be tired of the B.S., the basketball wise incompetence of the FO, and the overall cheapness of the organization not willing to go all in to win a championship. The Bulls are at least third in the east behind the Heat and Pacers imo especially if the Pacers continue their playoff play next year. And seeing that the Bulls didn't get a big in the draft, maybe they should take a chance on Bynum with a non guaranteed contract. If the Heat are rumored to be maybe taking a chance on Oden then why not take a chance on Bynum. But bottom line...the Bulls aren't championship contenders even with Rose return next year until they get better offensively. And hopefully Nate and or Marco returns. The more scorers the better.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I don't think you can really get Rose the offensive help he needs in any realistic way. Deng's not going to land you an offensive star, and I think any way you try to land one likely leaves you worse rather than better.

    Interestingly, the Bulls have Andray Blatche on their list of FAs to pursue. I think he'd be a great fit for Chicago if they can land him though I see that as somewhat of a long shot. He's an offensive only kind of guy who can create his own shot and gives us some junk offense that the team desperately needs.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree it's probably a long shot with the money, but yeah Blatche could help this Bulls team. He kind of won a couple games for NJ in the playoffs this year by getting hot offensively, and doesn't seem to be as much of a jive turkey as he was with the Wiz.

  • In reply to JC 2012:

    Nets just traded their entire bench for KG, Pierce, and JET. They have no othe PF except for Blatche.

    So not only do they need him now, Prohkorov doesn't cares out cost. He just added $10mil in salary with the that trade.

    The Nets can offer Blatche as much as we could but won't offer him...which is the MMLE.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Nets have KG, Reggie Evans and Plumlee at PF so you are wrong there.

    Hard to understand your point later. Are you saying that the Nets will go all out financially for Blatche? Or are you saying they will offer him the MMLE? Looks to me like you are saying both.

    Anyway, Nets trying to bring back Jason Collins as a backup C so we'll see how far they actually go into the luxury tax after absorbing the new salaries.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Where did you hear that, I cannot believe the Bulls would go after Blatche. He is a major knucklehead, but as a scoring bigman off the bench I kind of like him, could he be the Nate Robinson of bigmen under Thibs.

    Blatche or Dalembert, who you got. Dalembert is kind of a flake also, but he fits the Bulls defense and rebounding mode better, and has some offensive ability if you keep him under control.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think, despite the injuries, Bynum is still going to get someone to pay him big money. The Bulls don't have big money.

    The Aldridge talk is really interesting to me. I can't see any trade happening now, but isn't he a free agent soon? Couldn't they just wait for Deng and Boozer to come off the books and sign him then? Maybe Bulls believe Miritic will be better and don't even want him?

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    FA in two yrs, 2015. We can be using that strategy on waiting for players we want to hit free agency to get the as other teams would trade for him before he reaches FA.

  • I saw Murphy play a few times this year, and a game against Wisconsin sticks out. He went 10-10 from the field, 2-2 from 3 for 24 pts basically all on jumpers. He has got a sweet shot. Think he had 7 or 8 rebounds that game too, but it was a blowout so I don't think he ever tried to go inside or try on defense so I can't speak to those aspects of his game. Hey, at least he can shoot.

  • Thibs can test his plays for Nikola Mirotic on Erik Murphy.

  • The Snell pick is fine by me. I'm disappointed that they didn't take Dieng, because I think he fit this team perfectly. But Snell might be really good, he is just a little underwhelming is all. Murphy is probably a good player as well, but I really with they had taken Jackie Carmichael. I can't believe he wasn't drafted. The guy has good skills. Hopefully the Bulls get him or Mbakwe into their training camp.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I didn't think we would have drafted Murphy because he's now our 4th PF. I definitely don't think we'll add another PF.

    Other UDFAs to try and sign:
    James Southerland - 6'8 SF 3pt specialist Syracuse
    Vander Blue - 6'5 SG scorer Marquette
    Brandon Paul - 6'4 SG scorer from Illinois

  • Snell has more upside than Dieng because he can become a real impact player -- not likely, but the potential is there.

    I felt the Bulls should have gotten extra picks for more of these guys, but it would have been hard to get them playing time. I would at least have gone for Green in round 2, doing a move-up. Maybe they did not like his workout.

    BTW, the thinking was that the Bulls were going for a big, but they took the SG/SF instead. Smokescreens everywhere this year.

  • Snell's college production as in rebounds, steals, scoring etc. is hugely, hugely relevant especially as a three year player and... they stink. I mean as in suck donkey crack. An athletic 6'7 wing averaging 2 rebounds and change a game? And .5 steals? And no prolific scoring with 12 ppg in his junior season? Yikes.

    Well, he's athletic, his wingspan is 7', he can shoot threes! Sorry, if you are unmotivated in college chances are handed millions of dollars guaranteed things are not likely to magically transform in the NBA. The Bulls need motivated, impact, quality players to win with and for some actual entertainment for fans.

    Dieng is regarded as that impact guy by many, many NBA analysts and as a National Champion's key component. I never heard a flippin word about Tony Snell. This guy(who is probably a nice kid) but as an elite professional competitor certainly appears to me to be an unmotivated drip. In his DraftExpress interview he takes no accountability and completely refers to "the system" for his shortcomings on rebounding etc. which is poor class. He just looks like a loser to be brutally honest.

    This was a poor pick in a draft which was perhaps likely superstarless, but actually deep in offensive talent with at least probably two or three centers who will be solid to good NBA players. Larkin(perish the thought of securing a slight trade up), Dieng, Canaan all are solidly credentialed to be successful NBA contributors and likely all will be fun to watch. Meanwhile, we have just a horrendous underachiever not well regarded by many and extremely underhwelming personally. This pick from a drafting professional's perspective for who was likely available, this pick sucks. Period.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    It seems as though Snell would have been available in the second round and maybe even at the 49th pick. The Bulls could have nabbed Snell and Dieng if they wanted to (though it might have taken buying or trading up for a higher second). Are we going to get a better back up that we desperately need for that position than Dieng with the minimum in free agency to spend? I doubt it.

    Also, I doubt follow college hoops too closely but everyone who does seemed to like Franklin and Crabbe more.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    Bulls should have taken Dieng since their fallback plan for backup center is still Nazr. The draft is about getting value. If they wanted Snell the Bulls should have traded down and got another pick. Same thing the Bears should have done this year when the drafted Long.

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    In reply to RoadWarrior:

    and he can shoot better than anyone else on the team currently. Snell can shoot. Bulls need shooters. Considered to be one of the better shooters in the draft. How is it a bad thing at pick 20 that the Bulls got something they lack big time? Snell is here to shoot & get coached up by Thibs. If you have no faith in Thibs then that's your problem. Bulls are one of the better teams at developing young guys.

  • You may be dead on! Naturally, we hope not. However, the Bulls scouts have been finding some diamonds in the rough, so hopefully this is another one.

    All of these picks are throws of the dice, but if the scouts see something, then they become low risk/high reward shots. How did Michael Redd and Gilbert Arenas turn into All-stars? The talent was there, and something clicked.

    Well, with Snell the talent is there -- maybe something will click. Ditto with their 2nd round pick. We will see. With the Bulls draft record of late, I predict one of those two works out.

  • What the Bulls should have done is traded Deng to Cleveland for the 19th, 31rst and/or 33rd picks. Then drafted the shit out of those picks.

    Would Cleveland even have given us those picks for Deng, I am not so sure, but we should have tried.

    Then, I would have taken Dieng and Karasev with 19 and 20, or tried to trade 2 for 1(19&33 and 20&31) to move up to get 2 lottery picks.

    Way too aggressive thinking for the Bulls brains.

    This draft day proved once again, that any draft pick can be traded or traded for, any player or any contract can be traded regardless of age or contract.

    Except of course for Luol Deng and Carlos the Bamboozler.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think you'd eliminate any hope of winning the title this year with those trades while possibly not really improving your odds in the future by any notable degree either.

    That seems like a bad idea to me.

    I'm not in love with Deng, but our odds of winning this year with Deng are much better than winning in two years by adding Dieng and Karasev most likely [though of course it's possible one hits really big and I'm wrong].

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with BigWay on this one. The Bulls could have really stacked the team with young talent if they had made that trade. But I doubt Cleveland would have done it -- they are also stocking young talent.

    The other problem would have been, how would they have developed all of their picks? They would all need floor time in games. Still, that could have set up the Bulls for years if they were willing to give up on the coming season. It might have been worth it!

    We'll see what Deng brings at the trade deadline, unless the Bulls are once again going for the best regular season record. I hope not, that did not seem to work out so well.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Ah, but the season to 'give up on' was last season in Derrick Rose's absence. THAT was a missed opportunity to develop young talent which could have been acquired via a Deng trade, plus purchasing another draft pick for cash.

    Instead, Bulls developed vets on 1-year contracts who won't return. Bulls developed Nate and Belli for other teams rather than developing young talent for their future. Bulls did this as a short-term money saving tactic. Because acquiring young talent costs something and that's more than the most profitable team in the NBA is willing to pay.

    Trading Deng (including taking back bad salary and paying a high draft pick) would have cost more in salary and luxury tax than keeping Deng. Buying a draft pick for $3 million cash, costs more than signing vets to 1-year minimum contracts (which have no acquisition cost).

  • In reply to Edward:

    Pretty much entirely spot-on. Not trading Deng over the last offseason (barring any trade involving him from here on out: Love or Aldridge) becomes a more glaring misstep each and every day. Especially since it's most likely at this point that he walks for nothing after the season or they resign him and demolish the fantasy of a 2014 plan once and for all.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree, Edward.

    How is it, tho, that Nate and Belli come to the Bulls for a year and leave more valuable then when they arrived? Why not do that with Teague and Snell, etc? Or else sign the guys like Nate and Belli for an extra year.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Nate and Belli are now more valuable because they got playing time and exposure in a big market, and they performed well.

    The real question is, why didn't Bulls provide that playing time and exposure in to SF Harrison Barnes, a purchased-draft-pick-SG like Will Barton, and Teague? Because it was cheaper to sign Nate and Belli to 1-year contracts than pay the price to acquire that young talent for the long-term.

    Some may say we now can develop Tony Snell. But the accurate question remains: What young talent did Bulls add to the roster in 2012 that will help Bulls championship aspirations going forward? Answer: ZERO!!! 2012-13 was a wasted season and a wasted opportunity to effectively use Derrick Rose's absence. The roster did not advance talent-wise. All we got was empty entertainment watching Nate's heroics, because he won't return.

    Instead, Bulls could have played and developed 3 rookies. We would not have had Nate's entertaining heroics, and Bulls certainly would have lost more games playing rookies. But remember the 2004-5 season when Bulls played 4 rookies -Gordon, Deng, Nocioni, Duhon? They started 0-9 but improved through the season. Bulls missed the opportunity to use the 2012-13 season to the same effect and develop young talent for Derrick Rose's prime.

  • At least they added shooters. Jalen Rose is a fool not surprising he would say that...

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