It isn't a major splash, but Kyrylo Fesenko is the best free-agent option for the Bulls as they search for a third big man. According to Greg Woelfel of Racine Journal Times, "Besides the Bucks, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta are among some of the other teams showing interest in Fesenko."
There has been talk that the Bulls were also interested in free-agent center Joel Przybilla. Fesenko is a better option for a few reasons.
Both players are legit seven footers, but Fesenko is huge and thickly built. His body type is similar to Marc Gasol's. He takes the term big body to another level. He is listed at 280 pounds, and he looks every bit of it.
Despite the bulk, he moves pretty well, as you can see in this highlight reel:
Przybilla is 31 years old and though he's not thin, he doesn't offer the bulk that Fesenko does.
The age is an obvious factor as well. Przybilla is certainly on the downside of his injury-riddled career. Through 11 seasons, he's only played in 70 games or more four times. Fesenko's games played has risen every year he's been in the NBA.
In 2010-2011, he played in 53 games for the Utah Jazz. Most of his games missed were coach's decision, as he was extremely raw. He did suffer a torn meniscus this fall while playing internationally, but he has been rehabbing the injury and awaiting an opportunity to join an NBA team.
Who would you prefer the Bulls to sign as their 3rd big man?
He has gained valuable experience in his four-year NBA career and his international play, and now he's ready to contribute as a reserve.
It is obvious in his highlight reel that there is a definite package of size, feel and decent athleticism there. It is possible with the strong coaching staff the Bulls have that Fesenko could develop into a regularly-used reserve for the Bulls.
If that happens, either Joakim Noah or Omer Asik could become expendable. Fesenko figures to come cheap right now, somewhere near $1 million per year. If the Bulls can get solid minutes from him as a reserve, his presence could be extremely valuable.
If the Bulls elect to trade Joakim Noah next season, they could add a wing player without missing much, if anything at the center position.
Asik would start, with Fesenko as the backup, and the Bulls could then add a veteran big man for depth. A quality, young big man could help the Bulls choose Asik as their starting center while shipping Noah off in hopes of getting a scorer/defender at the shooting guard spot.
It's a small signing that could potentially have a bigger impact on the team overall. No matter what happens this year, it's a positive move for the Bulls that creates options and flexibility.