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Snell 'speechless' after meeting Pippen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Like kids in a candy store, Chicago Bulls draft picks Tony Snell and Erik Murphy both had their reasons to be awed and wide-eyed during their first official day with the team.

Snell, the 20th overall selection out of New Mexico, and Murphy, the 49th overall pick out of Florida, were introduced at the Berto Center on Monday, and both got into full uniform to shoot around at the practice facility.

For Snell, his eyes lit up when talking about his meeting former Bulls standout Scottie Pippen. Murphy gushed about being able to go to work every day with Joakim Noah, a fellow Florida alum.

Snell, who will wear No. 20, is known for his shooting ability, but with a 6-foot, 11½-inch wingspan on his 6-7 frame, he has the potential to be a solid rebounder and plus defender at basketball's highest level.

"It's helped me a lot," Snell said. "I have long arms and I like to use them to help get deflections, rebounds and steals."

Snell said he idolized Pippen, who has a similar build.

"I followed Scottie Pippen, who is, like, my same height and same wingspan," Snell said. "I tried to watch his game. I met him today and I was speechless. That's Scottie Pippen, a Hall of Famer. It was pretty great. He can help me get better and teach me what to work on."

Murphy, who will wear No. 31, said he already got a call from Noah on draft night Thursday, and after playing with and against him on the Florida campus during the summers, he can't wait to match wits with him on a daily basis.

"He might have the highest motor in the NBA, that's arguable," Murphy said. "When he comes back to school, you see the way he works and the way he plays. It's definitely an inspiration. It gets you going a little bit, and that's good. When you play with him and play against him, it brings it out in you because you have to stay at that level to compete with him."

The mild-mannered Murphy was asked who had more fun in college, him or Noah, who is known for a rebellious side.

"He probably had more fun than I did," Murphy said. "They won two national championships so that helps a bit. But he definitely had some fun. Florida is a fun school, so it's hard not to have fun there."

Murphy has more work to do than Snell in order make the roster next season.

"Obviously, I just have to continue to improve defensively, rebounding, getting stronger," Murphy said. "Every aspect of my game, I think I can improve. If I do that, whatever happens, but I think I'll be alright."