Is Carlos Boozer the most overrated Bull ever?
At the core of any bad NBA team is one or more overrated players. The Chicago Bulls had some terrible teams after the golden years with the most overrated players in franchise history leading the way.
It kind of feels like the city made a deal with the devil. Michael Jordan gave the fans a taste of greatness for one decade, but the team followed that by dealing with a decade of horrible hoops and bad draft picks.
Instead of developing into a long-term powerhouse like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls resorted to occupying the basement of the Central Division or the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference for much of the 2000s.
Chicago had a top-five selection in each NBA Draft from 1999-2002. They should have been a contender again within three years after Jordan retired, but the front office continued to make poor decision after poor decision (Tim Floyd, anyone?).
All of the players on this list were either high draft picks that became awful players for the Bulls or signed fat contracts that robbed the franchise of millions of dollars with their underwhelming performances.
Since the day Carlos Boozer signed a five-year, $75 million contract to play for the Chicago Bulls, cries of overrated rang throughout the city.
And Boozer has not done enough to silence the critics.
Despite averaging 16.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game over the last two seasons combined, Boozer has been a liability on defense and has played his worst in the Bulls' biggest games.
In Game 6 of Chicago's first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Boozer went 1-of-11 from the field and scored three points with the Bulls facing elimination. The year before, Boozer went 1-of-6 and scored five points in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
Boozer has been an inconsistent player the past two seasons and has not developed into the No. 2 scorer the Bulls need to realistically compete for a title. Unfortunately, he has not performed at the type of level that Chicago envisioned when signing Boozer to such a large contract.
Even though Boozer has been a solid offensive presence, he has not produced enough to merit a $75 million payday.
For that reason alone, he cracks the list as the fifth most overrated player in Bulls history.
With the fourth pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Bulls selected a high school center straight out of a Chicago-area high school named Eddy Curry.
The 7-foot man in the middle showed promise on the offensive end of the floor early in his career.
In just his second season, Curry led the NBA in field goal percentage at 58.5 percent. He was having the best season of his Bulls career in 2004-05, averaging 16.1 points per contest in 63 games before being sidelined for the rest of the season with an irregular heartbeat.
Despite his offensive talent, Curry was even more a defensive liability than Carlos Boozer is today. Curry was lazy and out of shape during his tenure in Chicago, and he failed to make an effort to improve on defense. With the uncertainty regarding his heart condition, the Bulls decided Curry was expendable and traded him to the New York Knicks.
The cocky Curry never lived up to the billing of his draft position. Chicago saw him as a player who could develop into a long-term starting center with a strong offensive game on the block, but Curry never showed any desire to improve his defensive presence in the paint.
If Curry prepared better in the offseason and stayed in better shape, he could have been a dominant center in the Windy City. Instead, he makes the list as one of the most overrated Bulls of all time.
For years, the Bulls had been searching for a productive player in the paint after failing in developing twin towers Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. The front office thought former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace would solve the problem.
In the summer of 2006, the Bulls faced a dilemma regarding the starting center position.
Tyson Chandler had been a disappointment so far at that point in his young career, and the Bulls did not want to gamble by signing a young big man who might remain a flop. Instead, they elected to let Chandler go and fill the spot via free agency, so they signed Wallace to a four-year, $52 million deal.
In hindsight, it was an awful decision.
Chandler developed into one of the best defensive centers in the game, and Wallace looked like he didn't even belong in the NBA. Wallace's rebounding numbers dipped, and he wasn't anywhere near the defensive star that he was with the Detroit Pistons.
Wallace only lasted a year and a half in the Windy City. Halfway through the 2007-08 season, he was involved in a three-team trade that brought Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden to the Bulls.
In 2001, the Bulls elected to trade 1999 No. 1 pick and former NBA Rookie of the Year Elton Brand because they felt that second-year forward Marcus Fizer could fill the void.
Chicago couldn't have been more wrong.
Fizer, the fourth overall pick in 2000, lasted just six years in the NBA while Brand has gone on to have a long, productive career.
After a stellar college career at Iowa State, the Bulls envisioned Fizer as a better option at power forward than Brand. But Fizer never averaged more than 12.3 points per game in a season. For whatever reason, he could not find a rhythm in the NBA.
The Bulls decision to trade Brand and move forward with Fizer completely backfired, and it set the Bulls back even further from becoming a contender again.
In 2001, the Chicago Bulls were the lucky team to sign a young, up-and-coming wing player named Eddie Robinson. Robinson went undrafted before finding a role with the Charlotte Hornets for two seasons.
Robinson was supposed to add much-needed athleticism at the small forward position for the Bulls, but he could just not take the next step.
His career in Chicago was derailed by injuries, but even when he was healthy, Robinson never lived up to the high expectations that came with his five-year, $30 million contract.
Robinson averaged just 7.1 points per game over a span of three seasons with the Bulls—hardly the type of production that the front office had hoped for after paying a steep price.
Robinson even cost the Bulls $10.5 million just to buy out his contract after the third year. After that, Robinson never sniffed NBA action again. The closest he got was in 2006-07, when he played 27 games in the NBA D-League.
To put it simply: Robinson straight up robbed the Bulls.
He cost Chicago over $20 million and played like a third-stringer barely holding onto an NBA job. A once promising career hit the skids in three short seasons, and the Bulls were the guinea pig in the failed Eddie Robinson experiment.
Robinson made millions of dollars from the franchise while performing like he deserved to be paid the league minimum. That is why he is the most overrated player in Bulls history.