10 Worst Personnel Moves in Recent Chicago Bulls History
Once Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, and Phil Jackson left, everything fell apart for the once-proud Chicago Bulls.
Until fairly recently, the team has been in disarray due to failed expectations, poor drafting, and even worse player signings.
While this list started as simply: "The 10 Worst Personnel Moves in Chicago Bulls History," I found myself compelled to basically make it a post-Jordan list.
So here it is, folks: The 10 Worst Personnel Moves in Chicago's RECENT History.
Drafting Eddy Curry
Chicago drafted Eddy Curry fourth overall in the 2001 NBA Draft to pair him with Tyson Chandler (who we'll talk about soon).
Taken one spot after Pau Gasol, but ahead of future stars Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, Tony Parker, and a few others.
Eddy Curry wasn’t horrible in Chicago, but just as he started to show promise, a dispute over him taking a DNA test pushed him out.
Eddy Curry’s massive contract, weight, and time not spent on the court while he was with NY is well-documented.
...But then again, he did get us some good draft picks from New York....
Signing Eddie Robinson
Eddie Robinson came from a small college and was used as a reserve when then-Chicago G.M. Jerry Kraus noticed the guard/forward's elite athleticism.
Kraus signed Eddie Robinson to a $32 million contract because he believed Robinson simply needed a bigger stage and more playing time to become a true star.
Instead of a star, the athletic wing never really developed into anything other than a high flyer with a large contact, horrible conditioning, and a feud with every coach he had.
But you know you loved the headband.
Trading Elton Brand for Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler is an NBA champion. He is well-regarded around the league as a great defender and rebounder, as well as a fantastic teammate.
However, due to injuries and inconsistency, as a Chicago Bull he was fairly unaccomplished.
And the fact that Chicago traded Elton Brand (their franchise cornerstone and reigning rookie of the year) for his draft rights doesn’t help his case either.
In July 2006, Chandler was traded to New Orleans, thus cutting ties with the last player from the Jerry Kraus era.
As luck would have it, Chandler's breakout season came the year after he was traded to New Orleans.
Chandler has steadily improved since then.
Signing Ron Mercer
When Chicago failed to land Tim Duncan during the summer of 2000, their consolation prize was Ron Mercer.
While Mercer certainly did a valiant job for the Bulls, he was no Tim Duncan and never lived up to his contract.
Inconsistency plagued his reputation (who else remembers Mercer scoring 30 points one night and only 2 the next?) in Chicago and always left fans wanting more.
But he does land us our next slide...
Trading Ron Artest and Brad Miller for Jalen Rose
During the 2001-2002 season, the Bulls traded Ron Artest, Brad Miller, Ron Mercer, and Kevin Ollie to the Indiana Pacers for Jalen Rose, Travis Best, Norman Richardson, and a second round draft pick.
Seem a little one-sided to you?
The Bulls saw Jalen Rose as a step towards respectability. He provided veteran leadership and was generally loved by the fans.
And all that for just the small price of two future all-NBA performers in Artest and Miller.
Drafting Marcus Fizer
At first glance, the pick of Marcus Fizer number four overall is a major shock/bust.
The only thing that keeps this blunder from going down as one of the worst moves off all time is the fact it came during the infamous 2000 draft.
Many in Chicago's front office believed that Fizer made Elton Brand tradeable. Fizer had an injury plagued career after experiencing great success at Iowa St.
But as I said earlier, had this pick come in almost any other draft, it would be regarded as an even worse move.
Not Keeping Jay Williams off the Bike
Jay Williams was selected by the Bulls with the second overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, after only Yao Ming.
Despite an inconsistent rookie season, Williams showed great promise and gave Chicago a reason to be excited about the future.
Tragically, on the night of June 19, 2003 Williams crashed his motorcycle into a streetlight. He was not wearing a helmet, was not licensed to drive a motorcycle in the state, and was also violating the terms of his Bulls contract by even riding a motorcycle.
Williams severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis and tore three ligaments in his left knee, and required physical therapy to regain the use of his leg.
The Bulls legally did not have to pay him any salary because he violated the contract by riding a motorcycle and injuring himself, but they gave the young player $3 million in a buyout, which Williams could use toward his rehabilitation.
Please. Why couldn't anyone just keep him off that bike?
Signing Ben Wallace
I must admit, I was excited when the Bulls signed Ben Wallace to his four year, $60 million deal.
Even though I thought that was a lot of money for a player that only played on one side of the court, he was tough and a proven winner. Right?
Wallace was vastly over paid and lasted only two seasons in Chicago before being shipped out to Cleveland.
And why is he dribbling in this picture?
Choosing Tyrus Thomas over LaMarcus Aldridge
Since I just admitted that I was completely wrong about Ben Wallace, I feel like it’s ok to mention that I (and thousands of others watching the draft) knew the Tyrus Thomas pick would end up a bust.
Once the potential trade of Aldridge for Thomas and Victor Khyrapa was being reported, I remember praying that the Chicago front office would change their minds and not actually swap their pick with Portland.
Long-story short, Tyrus Thomas and his bad attitude were shipped out to Charlotte after just two and a half disappointing seasons
Letting Jamal Crawford Get Away
The Bulls absolutely stole Jamal Crawford in a draft day trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Chris Mihm.
Crawford had a strained relationship with the Bulls front office during his short time in the Windy City.
Letting Crawford walk was simply a pride issue at the time. Crawford felt disrespected and Chicago felt like Crawford was overrated.
Upon leaving Chicago, Crawford said in an interview, "As a kid, I grew up dreaming of playing for Chicago. Well, I guess sometimes you have to be careful for what you wish for."
As much as it pains me to admit it (part of me still thinks Crawford is a total punk), Crawford ended up being right and now Chicago wants...needs...him back.