The Bulls are one of the top-five franchises in NBA history. Six straight NBA Finals appearances and six straight NBA titles. Of course they had the greatest player but that's besides the point. After their final title, the Bulls were never the same. All three stars left and the Bulls were left without any All-Star talent. After winning 62 games in the 1998 NBA season they would win 13 games of a lockout-shortened season. They would have five top-five picks in a row and failed to do anything with most of them. The Bulls were not formidable contenders for an NBA title until the 2010-11 season. They had the league's MVP and the league's best record. However, they failed to get it done and were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals. The next year they were once again the number one seed. They were expected to steamroll through Philadelphia and move on to the next round. But unfortunately, Derrick Rose tore his ACL in a game they were up by a ton. They lost the series and haven't been close since. From their last NBA Championship to now they have seen many different rosters featuring some All-Star talent and some players who were, to put it bluntly, scrubs.
Here are the 8 best and 7 worst Chicago Bulls players.
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15 Best: Jalen Rose
The former Michigan Wolverine was a great scorer for almost every team he's played on. Before joining the Bulls, he participated in the 2000 NBA Finals, in a loss to the Lakers. Jalen Rose had a tremendous series that would carry over to his tenure with the Bulls. He averaged close to 20 PPG. However the team had zero success. They were close to the bottom of the Eastern Conference every year. After 128 games with the Bulls he was traded to the Raptors where he was never the same. After averaging a career high 22.1 with the Bulls in his only full season, his numbers fell significantly. He played on three more teams after the Bulls and had Kobe Bryant drop 82 points on him.
14 Worst: Rajon Rondo
The Bulls signing Rajon Rondo turned out to be one the worse deals from free agency. Next to Joakim Noah, Rajon Rondo has done close to nothing on the Bulls this season. Many writers said that Rajon Rondo is the first "real" point guard the Bulls have had in some time. This was a clear shot at Derrick Rose. The writers couldn't have been any wronger. He's played less then what he's capable of and has been the subject of drama about the team. He was benched and never played for a short period because of his play. He called out teammates Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade for calling out the role players on the team. Many expect Rondo to be traded at the Trading Deadline.
13 Best: Elton Brand
More known for being a Clipper, Elton Brand had a decent career as a Bull. He was originally drafted by the Bulls with first overall pick in 1999. Brand was expected to carry the Bulls after the Jordan and Pippen Era. He averaged 20.1 PPG which is very impressive for a rookie season. He shared the honor of Rookie of the Year with Steve Francis. Unfortunately, they didn't have much success and earned another top-five pick. The next season he averaged 20.1 points again. But the Bulls failed to make the playoffs again. The Bulls gave up on Brand and him for a pick that ended up being Tyson Chandler. Brand had success as a member of the Clippers and made the All-Star Team twice.
12 Worst: Brian Scalabrine
The self-proclaimed "White Mamba" has become a huge NBA fan-favorite but it's become more of a joke now. Brian Scalabrine began his career off well with the Nets. He went to two straight Finals both however were failures. He moved on to Boston where he was able to win a championship. He had an infamous interview on with media that turned out to be rather hilarious. The interview includes him lying to his children about winning Finals MVP. Then the legacy of the White Mamba took off. Fans began to sarcastically cheer him once he joined the Bulls. Every moment he stepped on to the court he was bombarded with cheers. Every move he did they considered a highlight.
11 Best: Ben Gordon
Ben Gordon could put up points like none other. It's hard not to put him in a list of top 10 scorers for the 2000s. For strictly scoring you have Kobe, Carmelo, Durant, and T-Mac and then who else? Ben Gordon for sure should be in that list. Gordon won the Sixth Man of the Year Award and brought his "get buckets" mentality every night. He was arguably the best players on the Chicago Bulls during his tenure. Gordon led the Bulls to multiple playoff appearances and leading them to second round on one occasion. At the end of his contract the Bulls opted not re-sign with the Bulls and signed a lucrative contract at the time with the Detroit Pistons. Safe to say he wasn't the same player.
10 Worst: Ben Wallace
The Bulls were expecting much more from Big Ben then what they got. Ben Wallace was once a top-five center in the NBA. He may have been the best player on the Piston championship team in 2004. Wallace owns four Defensive Player of the Year trophies. Many expected him to bring his Detroit success over to Chicago but he never did. He became a shell of his former self. His four-year $60 million dollar contract is one of the worst signings ever. His rebound average went down each year and left the double digits after his first year with Chicago. he was traded in the midst of his second season to the Cleveland Cavaliers where his rebounds dipped even lower. Big Ben is now one of the finalist to join the Hall of Fame which has many people up-in-arms.
9 Best: Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer has unfortunately made his way out of the NBA in recent years. He had a few good years in the NBA. He and Deron Williams were arguably one of the best duos in the NBA when they were both in Utah. He made All-Star team twice while being in Utah as well. However, he was vital to the championship-contending Chicago Bulls teams. In each of his four seasons in Chicago he averaged close to a double-double. He complemented the scoring mindset of Derrick Rose with his ability to clean up after Rose's missed layups. After four seasons, Boozer made his way out of Chicago and went to the Los Angeles Lakers where he would see his NBA career end earlier than it had to. He is now playing in China and is potentially looking for another shot in the NBA.
8 Worst: Scottie Pippen
Who would have thought Scottie Pippen would have made a list with the worst Bulls? After winning six championships with the Bulls in the '90s, Pippen went on to Houston where they formed a "superteam" made up of washed up legends. They obviously failed. He then went on to the Portland Trail Blazers, a team very underrated but could never get it done. Pippen then did the unthinkable and returned to the Bulls after what was a somewhat ugly breakup. Since he was older he was a shell of his former self. He played in 23 games and started in six which goes to show how talent-less the Bulls were at the time. He shot 38% from the field and averaged close to 6 points. He played his final game in Febuary and the Bulls did not make the playoffs thus effectively ending the nostalgia trip.
7 Best: Luol Deng
Luol Deng doesn't get enough credit from Bulls fan for his effort on the court every night. He is one of the most underrated defenders for his time. He was drafted out of Duke and went seventh to the Phoenix Suns, but was later traded to Chicago. He defended every team's best offensive threat every night for nine straight seasons with the Bulls. He made the All-Star Team on two occasions and was very pivotal to any of their post-season success. He was the best player after Derrick Rose and his play showed that. His defense made up for Derrick Rose's lack thereof and that's why they fit nicely. For his contributions to the Bulls, Luol Deng earns a spot of one of the best since 2000.
6 Worst: Derrick Rose (Post Knee-Surgery)
Derrick Rose must've really wanted out of Chicago during his last few seasons with the Bulls. Rose missed almost two entire seasons because of knee injuries. He could have returned in the 2012-13 season opted not to. He played 10 games the next season and got hurt once again. His final year in Chicago saw him play 66 games the most since his MVP season but the Bulls missed the playoffs. Instead of taking it to the hole like he did prior to knee surgeries he relied heavily on a jump shot that wasn't always there and was missing more often than not. Compared to this season with the New York Knicks, Rose has shot the three a lot less than he did in his final year in Chicago. Rose's play this year led to the front office's decision to trade Rose and opted to build a team around Jimmy Butler which hasn't worked thus far as well.
5 Best: Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah while in his prime was one of the hardworking NBA players ever. He wore his heart on his sleeve every time he stepped on to the basketball court. Not known for his scoring, Noah played tremendous defense. With that, he also played the role of a Point Guard for the Bulls. He was a two-time All-Star with the Bulls and took over the role as the star player while Derrick Rose was injured. Noah won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2014 and finished fourth in the MVP voting. Sadly, he was plagued by injuries in his final two seasons as Bull and said mid-season that he wasn't re-singing. Noah can now be found stinking up Madison Square Garden as a member of the New York Knicks.
4 Worst: Jay Williams
Jay Williams had a lot of hype coming out of Duke. Not to be confused with the much better "White Chocolate," Jay Williams only played one year in the NBA. He was coached by the great Coach K at Duke and was the second overall pick to the Bulls, going after Yao Ming. His first season was so-so but filled with promise. After averaging close to 10 points, he made the All-Rookie Second Team and many expected him to improve drastically his second year. Sadly he never got the chance to. He got into a motorcycle crash during the offseason and wrecked most of his bod. He tore his ACL, fractured his pelvis, and tore the main nerve in his leg. He would never play in the NBA again. However, he is currently doing analyst work for college basketball. He is often in support of his Alma Mater Duke.
3 Best: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler's evolution from a great defender to a great two-way player is not talked about enough. When Derrick Rose was the superstar Butler was primarily known as a stopper. He has since developed a consistent jumper and is able to attack the rim. The last time the Bulls made the playoffs, they were eliminated in the second round by the Cavaliers in a series where they led two games to one. That series saw Butler struggle to take over when needed. When Rose was traded to the Knicks, the Bulls made their intentions clear of making him their star. He is set to make his third straight All-Star Game. Right now, he is the only one on the Bulls playing at a consistent level.
2 Worst: Eddy Curry
Eddy Curry might just be the biggest joke of an NBA player ever. A somewhat talented offensive player put no effort in anything else. He was drafted straight out of high school which continued the trend of high school players joining the NBA and not living up to expectations. Players like Darius Miles, Kwame Brown, and the aforementioned Eddy Curry failed to live up to expectations. Curry played four seasons with the Bulls each year improving, but failed to rebound the ball at an NBA level. His departure from the Bulls was a strange one. Curry refused to give the Bulls the medical information they needed after he missed time with an irregular heartbeat. He was traded to the New York Knicks for Mike Sweetney, Jermaine Jackson, and Tim Thomas. Curry failed to get any better and still lacked the ability to rebound or defend. After leaving the Knicks, he was a part of the Miami Heat 2012 NBA Championship team.
1 Best: Derrick Rose (Pre Knee-Surgery)
The breakup may have been ugly, but Derrick Rose is the best Bulls player since Michael Jordan. The former MVP winner was a fan-favorite from almost every basketball fan around the world. People wanted Rose to come back and return to his MVP-form, but sadly he was never able too. Injuries hit Derrick Rose harder than any NBA player ever. Knee injury after knee injury left fans questioning whether or not Rose would even play again. His last season with the Bulls saw him play 66 games the most since his MVP season but they missed the playoffs. During the off-season, he was traded to the New York Knicks where he's missed hardly any games and is on pace to play in at least 70 of the games. With the Bulls struggling at Point Guard, they may be regretting the trade they made over the summer.
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