The Chicago Bulls selected Florida forward Erik Murphy with the No. 49 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Drawing comparisons to fellow Gator and current Spurs big man Matt Bonner, Murphy looks to fill a similar role at the NBA level.
Murphy ended up just about where he was expected to be selected, in the mid-to-late second round.
A talented shooter in a 6'10 frame, Murphy offers the prototypical stretch-4 skill set to his new team. During his four years in Gainesville, he consistently improved his production across-the-board, developing from a garbage-time freshman into one of the team's most reliable big men. After shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc during his senior season, it's not hard to imagine Murphy developing into a shooting specialist off the bench, similar to Bonner or the Knicks' Steve Novak.
He fits a team role with the Bulls: even as they were completely strapped for pretty much any able-bodied player to take the floor during the playoffs due to a slew of injuries, they still often sat Daequan Cook and Vladimir Radmanovic, both of whom were healthy and have made their NBA careers as shooters. Neither player is under contract next year. As the team gets ready to move forward with Derrick Rose, a player like Murphy can spread the floor if he can prove he belongs on the floor, which guys in similar roles weren't able to do this past season.
The Bulls' previous pick of the night was Tony Snell at No. 20.