Ranking the Best Free-Agent Signings in Chicago Bulls History

Mike B.Correspondent IAugust 22, 2013

Ranking the Best Free-Agent Signings in Chicago Bulls History

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    When it comes to free agency, the Chicago Bulls have made smart decisions over the years.

    The April 1997 signing of Bison Dele (formerly known as Brian Williams) was a great move. Two months later, he would help the team capture their fifth title in franchise history.

    And bringing Kurt Thomas to town back in 2010 was the right call. The veteran big man would emerge as the team's enforcer during his one season as a Bull and filled in nicely for the injured Carlos Boozer. 

    Mike Dunleavy, who was signed this offseason, could wind up becoming one of the Bulls' top free-agent signings of all time. He's a lights-out shooter, something the team desperately needs to win their first title since Michael Jordan was still around.  

    Speaking of MJ, he will not be included in this list, as we shy away from re-signings. Just who are the Bulls' top free-agent signees ever? 

5. Nate Robinson

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    How in the world did Nate Robinson make the list? Didn't he play just one year with the Bulls? Yes he did, but it was a fantastic year to say the least.

    During his lone season as a Bull (2012-13), Robinson averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 assists per game and produced 16.3 points and 4.4 assists in the playoffs.

    The former slam dunk champ filled in for injured starter Kirk Hinrich at times and served as a sparkplug off the bench as well.  

    Robinson hit the 30-point mark three times as a Bull, including his sensational 34 during Game 4 of the Brooklyn Nets series.  

    He was a major reason the Bulls didn't fall off the face of the earth without Derrick Rose.

    Playing for the veteran's minimum, Robinson was obviously a bargain. Too bad the Bulls couldn't re-sign him this offseason.   

4. Bill Wennington

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    Bill Wennington signed with the Bulls prior to the 1993-94 season. He went on to play six seasons with the team, picking up three championship rings.

    Wennington served as a quality reserve center, backing up starter Luc Longley in the middle.

    The St. Johns product was known for his reliable mid-ranger jumper and was clearly a fan favorite during his Windy City tenure.

    McDonald's restaurants in Chicago actually sold a burger named after him called the "Beef Wennington." That has to earn him a spot on this list.


3. Steve Kerr

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    Like Bill Wennington, Steve Kerr also joined the Bulls in 1993.

    Kerr wasn't exactly a household name during the first few years of his career. That would change, though, after taking his talents to Chicago.

    The 6'3" guard would emerge as one of the Bulls' top role players, nailing three-pointers left and right off the bench.

    Kerr helped Chicago win three consecutive titles from 1996-98. His jumper during Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals lifted the Bulls past the Utah Jazz for their fifth championship, sending Karl Malone and John Stockton's crew home. 

    He was traded to the San Antonio Spurs following the 1997-98 season.



2. John Paxson

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    We go from one legendary shooting specialist to another.

    John Paxson headed to Chicago in 1985, after spending two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He would play the rest of his career with the Bulls, retiring from the game in 1994.

    While he wasn't as accurate as Steve Kerr from downtown, Paxson was still a dangerous outside threat nonetheless. You can't talk about Paxson without mentioning his 1993 NBA Finals three-pointer. It is easily one of the most memorable  shots of all time.

    He drilled the jumper with 3.9 seconds to go during Game 6 of the series, winning the contest and giving the Bulls their second title.


1. Ron Harper

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    Who were you looking for, Carlos Boozer? Sorry to disappoint.

    During the first part of his career, Ron Harper was a 20 point per game scorer for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers. But after joining the Bulls in '94, he would morph into a valuable role player.

    Harper was the starting point guard for Chicago's '97-98  championship teams, playing alongside Michael Jordan in the backcourt.

    He provided exceptional perimeter defense and helped the Jordan-Scottie Pippen duo with ball-handling duties.

    Leaving Chicago in '99, Harper would pick up two more rings with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000 and 2001).