The Runner Sports

Grading The Chicago Bulls’ 2013 Draft

The Chicago Bulls had a lot of options at picks 20 and 49 in the NBA draft. They opted to go for New Mexico small forward Tony Snell in the first round, and Florida power forward Erik Murphy in the second. Here I will give you an overview of just who these players are, and my grades for the picks.


Pick 20: Tony Snell, Small Forward, New Mexico, JR.


Measurements: 6’7, 198 pounds, 7′ wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 31.2 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.6 RPG, 42% shooting.

How it Happened: There were many options left on the board when it was the Bulls’ turn to select a player at pick 20. If the Bulls wanted a big man, Gorgui Dieng and Mason Plumlee were available. If they wanted a swingman, Reggie Bullock, Allen Crabbe, and Tim Hardaway Jr. were still on the board. Instead the Bulls selected small forward Tony Snell out of New Mexico University.

The Good: Snell is long, athletic and a lockdown defender. His nearly 7′ wingspan will allow him to shut down opposing players, and he has the potential to be the best on ball defender from this draft. He was pretty good in college off of catch and shoot opportunities, and he shot 39% from three in his Junior season. He has a decent amount of potential and upside that the Bulls can work on to turn him into a more consistent player, and he has the drive to become the best player he can be. A gym rat, Snell dominated drills and workouts with teams, making teams move him higher and higher up their draft boards. He is truly a Thibodeau player with his on ball defensive skills, and will learn from dominant defenders Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler how to lock down wings in the NBA. He can play either the 2 or 3 at the pro level, and he should see sparse minutes at both positions during his rookie season.

The Bad: Snell’s bad could be summed up in one word: inconsistency. His potential and athleticism certainly intrigued the Bulls, but if they wanted a shooting wing, there were safer options. Snell has the potential to become a solid NBA shooter, but his college game showed that his stroke needs to be refined in order to be a consistent shooter. His elbow flairs out a little bit during his motion, and when he’s hitting, he will keep hitting, but when he’s missing, he will keep missing. He needs to add at least 20 pounds to compete in this league, as he is very scrawny. He needs to improve his handle, because he will certainly see time at the 2, and he needs to develop the ability to truly create his own shot. Again, he has the potential to get there, but he simply is not yet, and there is no guarantee he will ever reach his potential.


Pick 49: Erik Murphy, Power Forward, Florida, SR.

Measurements: 6’10, 230 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.

2012 Statistics: 26.4 MPG, 12.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 52% shooting, 45% 3 point shooting.

How it Happened: I don’t know what it is with the Bulls that they always need a stretch power forward to sit at the end of the bench, but they really like having them (Brian Scalabrine, Vladimir Radmanovic.) Erik Murphy will seemingly take that role on, as the Bulls passed on tougher bigs that could have actually played some solid minutes to draft him.

The Good: Just look at the shooting percentages. Murphy was good for hitting over 50% of his shots and 45% of his threes during his Senior season. The percentage wasn’t a fluke either, as he shot 4.4 a game. He’s also a competitor. Murphy will not be playing above the rim, and he’s not too great at playing around it either. But if you give him the ball on the post he will try his hardest to put it into the basket. He works hard, and will go what he’s told, and will always be a good locker room presence.

The Bad: Anything on the court that isn’t shooting. He’s a willing passer, but not a guy that will rack up assists like Joakim Noah. He isn’t going to be blocking shots, and he will get bullied on the block while defending. He doesn’t have any post moves, and while he will try hard to hit shots underneath the basket if he’s there, he doesn’t really want to go there, and they’ll get swatted away easily by NBA bigs. His ceiling is very low, and he does not have a lot of room to grow in the NBA. He will come off of the bench at the end of blowouts, be a part of late game 3 point shooting lineups, and not much more.


Overall the Bulls added help on the perimeter, but they could have gone with a better shooter in round one, and they didn’t really need to draft a player like Murphy. It would have been better to draft a big in round one that could contribute off the bench behind Noah, and a player like DeShaun Thomas in round two, who could possibly contribute a decent amount down the line.


Grade: C-


(Photo one source)

(Photo two source)

Author: Rob Wegley

Co-Owner of The Runner Sports, Senior Editor for The Runner Sports, Writer for The Runner Sports focused on the NFL and the NBA. Located in the Chicago area. Professional journalist since 2012.