For the past two years, the Chicago Bulls have been a mess and that’s being very generous. Last year the Bulls finished 13th in the Eastern Conference with a 27-55 record. This year the Bulls are up for the number one pick as they are currently sitting towards the bottom of the East and are currently 11-37. There’s a lot of blame that can go around the Bulls organization as the players haven’t played as well and the coaches have struggled to keep the team together. But most of the blame must be on Gar Forman and John Paxson for overpaying free agents and horrible trades.
Let’s look at some moves Forman and Paxson have done since 2006…
2006 – The Bulls drafted LaMarcus Aldridge with the second overall pick but ended up trading him for Viktor Khyryapa and Tyrus Thomas. Khyryapa played a total of 42 games for the Bulls for two seasons where he averaged 2.9 points and 2 rebounds. Thomas played for the Bulls for four years as he averaged 7.7 points but then was traded in a few years. Aldridge in his career is averaging 19.5 points and 8.4 rebounds.
2007 – In free agency the Bulls signed 32-year-old Ben Wallace from the Detroit Pistons for 4 years, $60 million. $15 million a year! For a guy that averaged 6.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks and coming out of his prime. With the signing, the Bulls traded Tyson Chandler to the New Orleans Hornets for P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith. Brown, 37, played one year with the Bulls before being signed by the Boston Celtics. Smith was traded in less than 24 hours to the Denver Nuggets for Howard Eisley and two second-round picks, which was used on JamesOn Curry and Aaron Gray. Curry didn’t play one game for the Bulls and Gray played three seasons with the Bulls in which he averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds. In the draft, the Bulls would end up selecting Joakim Noah with the ninth overall pick, but would later walk away from the Bulls.
2008 – With Noah being the center of the future for the Bulls, the Bulls ended up trading Ben Wallace to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-team trade. The Bulls received Shannon Brown, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, and Cedric Simmons. Brown only played six games for the Bulls and Gooden played 49 games in two seasons but helped the Bulls as he averaged 13.4 points and 8.8 rebounds but would be traded next year. Hughes played two seasons for the Bulls and averaged 12 points but was traded to the New York Knicks. Simmons played 18 games for the Bulls and averaged 1.8 points. Then the Bulls would make the iconic pick of selecting Derrick Rose with the number one pick in the 2008 draft, but injuries derailed his career with the Bulls.
2009 – This is the arguably the best year in the Gar-Pax era. They traded Gooden, Andres Nocioni, Michael Ruffin and Simmons for Brad Miller and John Salmons. Miller was a decent addition as he averaged 10 points and 6.6 rebounds. Salmons was a nice starter piece averaged 14.6 with the Bulls. Then the Bulls traded Thabo Sefolosha, the second pick in 2006, to Oklahoma City for a first-round pick. The Bulls would pick James Johnson with the 16th pick and Taj Gibson with the Oklahoma City pick. The two will be later traded throughout the years.
2010 – Here’s where we get to look back at previous trades like the one from 2006 when the Bulls acquired Thomas. Thomas was traded to the Charlette Bobcats for Acie Law, Ronald Murray, and a 2014 first rounder. Law played 12 games for the Bulls and averaged 5.5 points. Murray, 30, played 29 games with the Bulls and retired after the season. So, until 2014, the 2006 trade tree continues. The Bulls would then trade Salmons, who was acquired in 2009, for Joe Alexander and Hakim Warrick. Alexander played 8 games for the Bulls and retired from the NBA. Alexander averaged 0.5 points with the Bulls. Warrick, on the other hand, played well. Warrick averaged 8.7 points for the Bulls as he came off the bench for 27 games. The Bulls would go on to draft Kevin Seraphin with the 17th overall pick, but the Bulls ended up trading him for Kirk Hinrich and Vladimir Veremeenko, who did not play one minute for the Bulls.
2011 – The Bulls made one trade before the season as they traded for Carlos Boozer from the Utah Jazz. Boozer was a huge upgrade for the Bulls as he went on to average 15.5 points and nine rebounds in his four seasons. The Bulls would also make some big free agency splashes as they got Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. The sharp-shooting Korver played 147 games over 2 seasons and averaged 8.2 points while shooting 42.5 percent from three and 43.3 percent from the field. Brewer wasn’t a sharpshooter like Korver but presented much depth off the bench as he shot 45.3 percent from the field and averaged 6.5 points. The Bulls would also send Johnson to the Toronto Raptors for a first round pick in the 2011 draft. On a bright note, the Bulls ended up finished the season 62-20, their best record since the 1997-98 season. The Bulls would lose in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. But they did get better through the draft as they drafted Jimmy Butler, Norris Cole, and Malcolm Lee. Lee and Cole would be later traded for the rights to Nikola Mirotic.
2012 – This had to be the slowest year for the Bulls as there were no trades. The Bulls ended up signing Richard Hamilton to a 3 year, 15-million-dollar contract. Now, this isn’t legendary Detroit Pistons Richard Hamilton, this was 33-year-old Richard Hamilton as he wasn’t that deadly shooter he once was, but he did make an impact as averaged 10.5 points off the bench, shot 34 percent from three and 44 percent from the field. He would later retire 2 years later. The Bulls ended up with another great record as they finished 50-16 but lost in the first round due to Rose tearing his ACL. The Bulls would go on to draft Marquis Teague, who will later be traded for Tornike Shengelia, who ended up never playing in the NBA.
2013 – The Bulls had two great years. They had two years where they looked like they could have been in the NBA Finals but fell short. Now, the Bulls start to fall downhill and become mediocre. The only trade the Bulls would make is shipping Korver to the Washington Wizards for cash. The Bulls still tried to build their bench as they signed Hinrich to a 2-year deal, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, and Nazr Mohammed. The Bulls would be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and would settle for Tony Snell with the 20th overall pick, who will end up being traded.
2014 – The Bulls made a big move to trade long-time Bull, Luol Deng to the Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum. I believe this move really brought the Bulls to where they are today. Deng was getting older and was expecting a big contract, but Deng who was averaging 19 points had helped the Bulls win games was traded for a guy who would be released the next day. Another disappointing year for the Bulls as they fell short in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. More disappointment comes in the draft where everything goes downhill. The Bulls use the 16th pick, that they received in 2010 from the Bobcats, on Jusuf Nurkic. The Bulls would also draft Gary Harris. However, both would be traded for Doug McDermott, who was picked five picks ahead of Nurkic. Nurkic, in 2019, is averaging 15.1 points and 10.4 rebounds. Harris is averaging 15.5 points. McDermott is not on the Bulls anymore.
2015 – The Bulls roster wasn’t looking well, but they wanted to find a way to stay competitive. So, they signed Pau Gasol to the roster. Gasol did well for the Bulls as he averaged 17.6 points and 11.4 rebounds for two years. The Bulls would still try to get some bench help as they would sign Aaron Brooks and E’Twaun Moore. The Bulls would make the playoffs as the third seed but would end up losing in the semi-finals. The Bulls did end up selecting Bobby Portis who would be traded to the Washington Wizards.
2016 – We get to see more of the Bulls mess as they trade Hinrich for Justin Holiday. Then, Holiday was traded with Rose to the New York Knicks for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant, and Robin Lopez. Calderon was traded away. Grant would go play for the Orlando Magic. Lopez is bound to be traded at the Feb. 7, trade deadline. The Bulls would also acquire Spencer Dinwiddie but ended up playing in the D-league for the Bulls. The Bulls would just miss the playoffs at the ninth seed. The Bulls ended up selecting Denzel Valentine who is still on the team but is out for the season.
2017 – The Bulls would waive Dinwiddie as he would go join the Brooklyn Nets and become a starter who is currently averaging 17.2 points and five assists. But the Bulls look to remain competitive as they would sign Rajon Rondo to a two-year deal worth $28 million. That didn’t stop there as they signed Dwayne Wade to a two-year deal worth $47 million. The Bulls would also trade Snell for former Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams. The Bulls mid-season would trade Gibson and McDermott to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Joffrey Lauvergne, Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne. Lauvergne and Morrow would leave the Bulls in free agency. Meaning the 2006 trade isn’t complete since Payne remains on the roster. In the draft, the Bulls would make a huge trade that includes sending Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Bulls acquired Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn.
2018 – In hopes of signing veteran free agents last year, it turns out it didn’t work as the Bulls waived Rondo and Wade. The Bulls would also re-sign Cristiano Felicio to a 3-year deal worth $24 million to sit on the bench and average 4.5 points and four rebounds. The Bulls would then trade Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans for Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen, Omer Asik, and a first-round pick. In the draft, the Bulls would draft Wendell Carter Jr. with the 7th overall pick and will select Chandler Hutchinson with the Pelicans pick.
2019 – The Bulls this year have signed Jabari Parker to a two-year, $40 million contract, but looks like he will be traded as well near the trade deadline. Then the Bulls have traded Holiday, again, for MarShon Brooks, Wayne Selden, and a second-round pick. The Bulls would waive Payne, ending the 2006 trading tree, and then waive Brooks. Then, just this week on Jan. 22, 2019, the Bulls traded for Carmelo Anthony and cash. The Bulls will not play Anthony and look to trade or waive him. The Bulls are currently one of the worst teams in the league as they are fighting for the number one pick in the 2020 draft
After reading through all the transaction, from 2006 to the present, this should show you the Chicago Bulls front office is a dumpster fire. Either trade players for picks or for young unproven players. The Bulls will also sign old or injured free agents that hope to turn the corner for the Bulls, but they fail. I do like the selections the Bulls use in the draft but just hasn’t worked out as they get traded after a few seasons. The Bulls had a good, short run, but over the years the Bulls have played like garbage and the way the organization is ran is pathetic. A change needs to happen for the Bulls, and only one can hope it’s sooner rather than later.