Ever since veteran center Kurt Thomas left the Chicago Bulls this offseason to take more money from the Portland Trail Blazers, the common logic has stated the Bulls could stand to add another big man. Today, the best one available will reportedly decide which team he'll play for. Center Joel Przybilla is weighing offers from Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland, and Miami, each believed to be for the veteran's minimum. While there's nothing (big) sexy about adding a 32-year old 11th man who hasn't played in almost a year, Przybilla is capable of providing interior toughness, a little bit of rebounding, and six hard fouls.
Today at The Oregonian, Jason Quick filled us in on what Przybilla's been doing with his time over the last year.
Last season was a tough one for him. His right knee, which endured two ruptured patella tendons in the span of three months, wasn't fully recovered, causing him to limp around the court. Then he was traded by the Blazers to Charlotte in February, after which he shut his season down on March 7 after playing five games for the Bobcats.
When the lockout ended in December, Blazers athletic trainer Jay Jensen was on Przybilla's doorstep in Milwaukee within the first hour the NBA allowed. Later, phone calls from Milwaukee and Chicago followed. But Przybilla stonewalled all the inquiries, deciding he wanted to enjoy Christmas and New Years with his family.
After the holidays, he found taking the kids to school and watching his beloved Green Bay Packers on Sundays was more fun than morning shootarounds and 3 a.m. arrivals in Oklahoma City.
As Quick correctly notes, "Przybilla is not the missing piece to a championship, or even home court advantage in the playoffs."
Still, Przybilla is certainly an NBA player, something you likely can't say about one or two players on Chicago's roster. Heaven forbid Joakim Noah or Omer Asik sustain a serious injury, having Przybilla's wealth of experience on the floor is certainly better than having to deal with the sight of Brian Scalabrine playing meaningful minutes.
Even if Chicago stays healthy, signing Pryzbilla still qualifies as a "nothing to lose" maneuver. He's worthy of the veteran's minimum whether you need him or not. And if he gets to whack LeBron upside the head a few times in the playoffs? Even better.