The Bulls have waived rookie Erik Murphy, the team announced via press release. The move drops Chicago’s roster to 12 players, which means the team has to add someone before the playoffs. That’s the plan, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who says the team has had conversations with Mike James and Ronnie Brewer recently (Twitter links). Brewer worked out for the team at its practice facility today, tweets Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.
Murphy, 23, joined the Bulls after they drafted him 49th overall this past summer and signed him to a partially guaranteed deal for the minimum salary. The contract became fully guaranteed when the team elected not to waive him by January 7th, so he’ll receive his full salary of $490,180. He, like A.J. Price, whom the Wolves waived today, is ineligible to play for another team in the postseason.
The Bulls called on the former University of Florida big man sparingly this season, as he totaled just 62 minutes in 24 games. It seems Chicago wants a veteran who can make a larger impact for the playoffs, and James and Brewer have track records of postseason success. The 38-year-old James was with the Bulls to begin the season, and they brought him back on a 10-day contract in January after waiving him in December. He nonetheless averaged just 7.0 MPG in 11 appearances. Brewer played a much larger role for the Bulls in 2010/11 and 2011/12, and he became a free agent after the Rockets waived him in February.