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Chicago Bulls' All-Time Dream Team

Andres MonteroContributor IMarch 7, 2013

Chicago Bulls' All-Time Dream Team

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    Since their inception in 1966, the Chicago Bulls have had a slew of superstars and Hall of Famers take the court.

    From Jerry Sloan in the mid-'60s through the mid-'70s to Artis Gilmore in the late '70s to the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan, in the '80s and '90s, the Bulls' history is filled with great talent.

    Let's not forget about their current superstar, Derrick Rose.

    Offensive prowess will be a main factor in determining this team, although players with a complete game aren't exactly out of the conversation.

    Similar to the 1992 Olympic Dream Team consisting of the NBA's best, this team will be made up of the 12 greatest players to ever wear Bulls red.

Bench: PG, Norm Van Lier

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    Bulls Career Averages: 12.2 PPG, 6.8 APG, 4.6 RPG

    Norm Van Lier wasn't going to light up the scoreboard, but opponents weren't going to, either—especially not on him.

    He was top 10 in steals per game for three consecutive years, and for a portion of his career, he held a defensive rating under 100 (per basketball-reference.com).

    As a Bull, Van Lier was selected to three NBA All-Defensive First Teams ('74, '76-'77) and four All-Defensive Second Teams ('72-'73, '75, '78). He was also a three-time All-Star selection.

    In 1974, Van Lier was also selected to the All-NBA Second Team.

    He was a big part of the Bulls' playoff run in 1975 by averaging 15.1 points per game, including a 35-point performance against the Golden State Warriors.

    Many Bulls fans now remember Van Lier as a Bulls analyst who never held back and told it like it was, but he was also one of the best point guards Chicago has had.

Bench: SG, Jerry Sloan

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    Bulls Career Averages: 14.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.2 SPG

    Sloan was a great scorer, and at 6'5", he was a great rebounder as well. He is currently the Bulls' fourth-leading career scorer.

    Aside from his scoring, Sloan was also a top-notch defender, making four All-Defensive First Teams and two Second Teams. He was also selected to two All-Star teams, one in 1967 and the other in 1969.

    Sloan was well-known for his ability to steal the ball as well. Since the NBA started keeping track of the stat in the '73-'74 season, he averaged more than two steals per game in two of his last three years.

    Sloan made his legacy as the head coach of the Utah Jazz,which would actually fall short against the Jordan-led Bulls in the late '90s. However, one cannot forget that before Sloan was a Hall of Fame coach, he was an All-Star.

    There's a reason his number is hanging from the rafters at the United Center.

Bench: SG/SF, Chet Walker

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    Bulls Career Averages: 48.3% FG, 20.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG

    It seems that the older Chet Walker became, the better he played on the court. In his first seven years in the league, Walker never averaged more than 20 points per season.

    After joining the Bulls in 1969, Walker averaged 21.5 points per game. The following two seasons, he averaged 22 points per contest.

    Walker's scoring came easy due to his ability to drive to the basket. He's ranked 33rd in free throws made in NBA history, and despite playing just six years in Chicago, he ranks third all time in free throws made.

    Walker was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012, and deservedly so, as he was one of the premier scorers during his time.

    His best scoring years came as a member of the Bulls, and that's why he makes the team.

Bench: SF, Luol Deng

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    Career Averages: 46.1% FG, 16 PPG, 6.4 RPG

    Luol Deng does it all for the Bulls. He scores when he's called upon to score and always defends the opposing team's best player.

    His two All-Star appearances in the last two years have cemented his place in the league as one of the most complete players.

    Aside from his All-Star accolades, he was also selected to his first NBA All-Defensive Team last season. If he continues playing that kind of smothering defense, he's definitely bound for more selections.

    Deng currently ranks in the top 10 in most major categories in Bulls history. Most notably he is the sixth-leading scorer and is fifth in steals.

    If Deng finishes his career in Chicago, he could wind up as one of the greatest Bulls ever.

    Honorable mention to Reggie Theus for the backup guard/forward role.

Bench: PF, Dennis Rodman

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    Bulls Career Averages: 45.2% FG, 5.2 PPG, 15.3 RPG

    Before Dennis Rodman was making diplomatic trips to North Korea, he was arguably the NBA's best defender and rebounder.

    Rodman played only three years for the Bulls, but he was a key component in the Bulls three-peat.

    From 1996-98, Rodman led the league in rebounds per game and had three of the highest defensive ratings of his career. In '96, Rodman was selected to his seventh NBA All-Defensive First Team.

    His lack of experience with the Bulls hurts his placement in the starting lineup, but his defense and rebounding can't be overlooked or unappreciated.

    Rodman helped bring three titles to the Windy City, and while he may not have been an offensive threat, his defense and rebounding were the best, possibly ever. For that, he makes the Bulls' all-time team.

Bench: PF/C, Horace Grant

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    Bulls Career Averages: 53% FG, 12.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG

    Like Rodman, Horace Grant played a key role in the Bulls' championships.

    During the Bulls' championship run from '91-'93, Grant averaged just over 13 points and nine rebounds per game. In 1994, Grant made his only All-Star appearance.

    Grant's inside presence was key in the Bulls' three-peat, but he wasn't just a big body in the paint. In '93 and '94, Grant was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

    Grant's offense was a big contribution to the Bulls' title in 1992. With a league-leading offensive rating of 132 (per basketball-reference.com), his 14 points per game on 58 percent shooting showed that Grant was not only efficient but could be counted on if they needed his scoring.

    Grant's numbers aren't flashy, but what he did for the Bulls in the early '90s can't be overlooked.

Bench: C, Joakim Noah

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    Career Averages: 9.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG

    Joakim Noah is the best center the Bulls have had in a while, and his well-rounded game makes him one of a kind.

    Noah's year-to-year improvement makes him one of the hardest-working players in the league, and his production shows it. This season, Noah is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists and blocks.

    Defense is what puts Noah on this team, though. Since the 2009 season, Noah has finished with a top-10 defensive rating and has been in the top five since 2010.

    This year, he is in consideration for Defensive Player of the Year.

    Noah has only played six years in Chicago and still has three years left in his current contract. Still, he has been (and will be) a big part of this Bulls team and will ultimately go down as one of the best centers in team history.

Starter: PG, Derrick Rose

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    Career Averages: 21 PPG, 6.8 APG, 3.8 RPG

    The first starter revealed on the Bulls' Dream Team is none other than Derrick Rose.

    Rose has played just four seasons to date, but he already has an abundance of rewards, including Rookie of the Year and a league MVP award in just his third year, which made him the youngest player to win the award.

    He was named to the All-Rookie team in 2009 and the All-NBA First Team in 2011. He also has three consecutive All-Star appearances spanning from 2010-2012.

    Rose's freakish athleticism and ridiculous ability to finish in the paint put him in the starting lineup. Very few point guards in the league can drive, absorb contact and finish at the rim like he does. His improved jump shot over the years has made him nearly impossible to stop.

    He has not only displayed great offensive skills, but his leadership is also next to none. He gave the team a new personality and has willed the team to play hard every single game.

    His ACL tear put a halt to his career, but if he comes back strong and continues to perform at a superstar level, he could go down as the second-greatest Bull ever.

    In just four years in the league, Rose is already a future Hall of Famer, making him a shoo-in for this team.

Starter: SG, Michael Jordan

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    Bulls Career Averages: 31.5 PPG, 5.4 APG, 6.3 RPG

    No surprise here. Arguably the greatest NBA player of all time, His Airness locks in the starting 2-guard spot.

    Jordan is perhaps the best scorer in NBA history and has proved it with circus shot after circus shot and game-winner after game-winner. He has won an NBA-record 10 scoring titles and still ranks No.1 for most points per game in a career (30.12).

    Jordan is a five-time MVP, a six-time Finals MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA First Team selection, a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection...

    I think you get the point.

    As a six-time champion in just eight years and the third-leading scorer in NBA history, MJ is an obvious choice for this collection of Bulls greats.

Starter: SF, Scottie Pippen

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    Bulls Career Averages: 18 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.1 SPG

    Jordan's partner in crime, Scottie Pippen, will be starting at small forward.

    Pippen was the perfect complement to Jordan. He could score, defend and rebound. He could essentially do all the things Jordan did—it's just that MJ did them better.

    After Jordan's retirement in 1993, however, Pippen took the spotlight and didn't disappoint.

    In the 1994-95 season, he led the team in scoring, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals, making him just the second player in NBA history to lead his team in all five major statistical categories.

    Pippen was as complete a player as they come. He was a great secondary scorer and elite defender for Chicago, and he rebounded at a high rate.

    His three consecutive All-NBA First Team and eight consecutive All-Defensive First Team appearances show just how well-rounded he was.

    Note: Pippen's 2003-04 season is excluded from the averages.

Starter: PF, Bob Love

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    Bulls Career Averages: 19.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.6 APG

    It wasn't until Bob Love landed in Chicago that he showed just how great a player he was.

    Love was a volume scorer. He put up a lot of shots, and even though they didn't always fall, he made sure he put up the points necessary.

    He was a rare player for his time. He had the size of a power forward with the quickness of a guard, which explains why he was such a great scorer.

    Love was a great one-on-one defender as well, earning consecutive selections to the All-Defensive Second Team in 1971 and 1972.

    He led the Bulls to a Western Conference Finals appearance in 1975, where he averaged just under 26 points per game.

    As the Bulls' third-leading all-time scorer, "Butterbean" earns a spot in the all-time Bulls starting lineup.

Starter: C, Artis Gilmore

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    Bulls Career Averages: 20.1 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 2.2 BPG

    At the center position is one of the best centers in NBA history.

    Artis Gilmore is still the NBA leader in career field-goal percentage (59.9 percent). He was an efficient scorer and a great defender as well.

    Gilmore is currently the fifth-leading rebounder and seventh-leading scorer in Bulls history. What's amazing about that is he only played in Chicago for six years.

    Gilmore is the best center the Bulls have ever had. His elite rebounding, scoring and defense made him one of the best centers in the league. He was an All-Star for five of his years with the team, as well as a selection for the All-Defensive Second Team in 1978.

    An induction into the Hall of Fame in 2011 (better late than never) cements his place in the history of the game and shows just how great he was.

    The Bulls benefited from the ABA-NBA merger by landing the best center they've ever had. Gilmore rounds out the Bulls' all-time starting lineup.

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