Chicago Bulls Rumors: Joel Przybilla to Replace Kurt Thomas as Backup Center?

Kelly ScalettaFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2011

DENVER, CO - MARCH 02:  Joel Pryzbilla #10 of the Charlotte Bobcats takes a free throw against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Bobcats 120-80.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

When Kurt Thomas signed a two-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, the Bulls lost a fan favorite in "Big Sexy." It also left a void in the Bulls' roster as the requisite for a fifth big man, particularly in a roster that saw all four of their current big men miss games and ample time from their starting two. 

Enter symmetry. An excellent fill-in, and one whom the Bulls are interested in according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune is former Trail Blazer, Joel Pryzbilla. 

Pryzbilla offers a similar skill set to Thomas, except that he's bigger and younger, at just 31. At 7-foot-1 and 255 pounds, he could certainly fill the void of enforcer vacated by Thomas. 

He averaged 11.2 rebounds and 4.4 points per 36 minutes last year. Prior to last year he was a valuable defender, but last year was his first back form knee surgery and he didn't have his former explosiveness. Provided he has the normal sort of recovery, he should have more back now. 

Pryzbilla is taking some with his family for Christmas before he makes a decision on where to play.

Considering that the Bulls would give him both proximity to his home in Wisconsin and a chance to play for a winning team, it wouldn't be a surprise if he came to the Bulls, a point which even is willing to concede.