Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bulls are about to add the imposing defender to their back line:
The Chicago Bulls plan to sign forward Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day contract on Tuesday, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Varnado, who plays for the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, worked out for Bulls officials in Chicago on Monday.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 1:25 p.m. ET by Grant Hughes
It's now official, via a press release from Bulls.com:
---End of update---
At 6'9", Varnado's massive 7'4" wingspan helped make him the NCAA's all-time leading shot-blocker at Mississippi State. After being drafted by the Miami Heat in 2010, he spent the next couple of seasons in Europe.
He's been in the D-League all year but played a handful of games for the Boston Celtics and the Heat in 2012-13.
He even got a championship ring for his brief stay in South Beach.
With his collegiate credentials and D-League success, it's no surprise Varnado has made his way back into the Association. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra saw his potential in training camp earlier this year:
Spoelstra on Varnado: "He had a very good summer and fall with us. He belongs in this league."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) October 21, 2013
Even if he winds up stuck behind Nazr Mohammed and Joakim Noah in Chicago, it's clear Varnado doesn't have much more to prove in the D-League. In 22 games this year, he averaged 14.1 points, 11 rebounds and 4.7 blocks in 31.7 minutes per contest.
The Bulls aren't exactly hurting for defense. But Tom Thibodeau knows what he likes. Expect Varnado to turn away more than his share of shots if he ever sees any playing time in Chicago.