Why Dexter Pittman Should Make the Chicago Bulls 2013-14 Roster

Mike B.Correspondent ISeptember 5, 2013

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Dexter Pittman #45 of the Miami Heat poses during media day at the American Airlines Arena on September 28, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Former Miami Heat center Dexter Pittman will join the Chicago Bulls' training camp, according to Sportando.

He turned down an offer from Italian Club Sidigas Avellino, hoping to land an NBA contract for the 2013-14 season.  

Chances are you don't know much about Pittman. Just because he was a teammate of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade down in South Beach doesn't make him famous. 

After playing college ball at the University of Texas, he was selected by the Heat with the 32nd overall pick in 2010. He has played just 48 career games with the Heat and Memphis Grizzlies combined, averaging 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest and shooting 45.4 percent from the field.   

Pittman also had a couple stints in the D-League, playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In addition, he played for the San Antonio Spurs during this year's NBA Summer League.  

The Bulls currently have 12 players under contract and need to sign at least one more. Adding Pittman to the regular-season roster could truly benefit the team.

What are a few things he would bring to Chicago?    


Depth at Center   

The Bulls need help at center. They were expected to address the position in this year's draft. However, swingman Tony Snell (21st overall pick) and power forward Erik Murphy (No. 49) were selected instead.  

Nazr Mohammed was re-signed to back up starter Joakim Noah in the middle. While that was a good move, the Bulls roster could use a third center, and Pittman should be that guy. At 6'11", he provides size to the frontcourt and has potential to be a decent pro. 

It wouldn't be shocking if Noah, one of the league's most injury-prone players, misses a significant amount of time next season. That's why Pittman be a good fit. 

As the video below demonstrates, he has some athleticism and some ability to play defense, as he rejects Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a defensive guru to say the least, can help Pittman morph into an outstanding defender. And the Bulls have a knack for developing young players. Jimmy Butler went from an unknown to a starting shooting guard. And it looks like Marquis Teague, last year's first-round pick, has a pretty bright future. 

Pittman could very well be next in line.     



Mohammed earned the "enforcer" label during last season's playoffs, shoving Miami's LeBron James to the floor in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Here's the video in case you missed it. 

And if the Bulls sign Pittman, they'll be getting their hands on yet another enforcer. Two is better than one, right?  

Like Mohammed, Pittman is also known for a "tough guy" play made in the postseason. He committed an extremely hard foul on the Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson during the 2012 playoffs. Check it out here. 

And this play also may have had something to do with James. Earlier in Chicago's series against the Pacers, Stephenson made a choke signal after James missed a free throw. So perhaps Pittman was sending him the message, "Don't mess with my teammates, buddy!"   

He would be great in Chicago, protecting superstar point guard Derrick Rose.        


A Dose of Scoring Punch

Pittman averaged a career-high 3.0 points per game during the 2011-12 season. That certainly isn't a scoring average to brag about. But according to basketballreference.com, he put up 12.7 points per 36 minutes, which is respectable.      

He scored a career-best 16 points versus the Charlotte Bobcats back in April 2012. That's a nice performance, given that he came off the bench. Although it was against the Bobcats, Pittman clearly proved he can score in the NBA.        

Here are a few of Pittman's field goals from last season.  

He obviously possesses a soft touch around the basket. The first shot of the sequence reminds me of Shaquille O'Neal. Okay, Pittman isn't the next Shaq, but he does have a nice baby hook in his arsenal.    

The Bulls averaged only 93.2 points per game last season, ranking 29th in the NBA. This coming season, they're going to need all the scoring they can get, even if it's just a little bit from Pittman.  


Will Pittman Actually Make the Bulls Roster?   

When it's all said and done, look for Pittman to earn a spot on Chicago's regular-season roster. Expect him to have a solid preseason, playing respectably on both ends of the floor.  

Chicago can land Pittman for dirt cheap. And if you know anything about the Bulls, you're aware that they're all about saving money.  The Bulls team passed up a slew of talented big men in the draft such as Duke's Mason Plumlee, Louisville's Gorgui Dieng and France's Rudy Gobert.

They shouldn't let Pittman get away, though.          



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