The Chicago Bulls have made some very questionable decisions over the course of the last decade or so regarding the players they choose in the draft or the things they do to acquire them, trading away some pretty valuable assets to get pretty much nothing in return.
So, one of the most important franchises in NBA history has entered a spiral of mediocrity, being good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to actually compete, failing to land top free agents or a good draft selection.
The Gar/Pax front office seems lost and it looks like everybody wants different things for the team in Chicago, so now, as they’re once again reportedly considering trading Jimmy Butler, let’s take a look back at the top 5 worst trades the Bulls have made in their storied history.
5. J.R. Smith - Denver Nuggets
The 18th pick of the 2004 NBA draft has never been considered as an easy going guy and even if his talent on both ends of the floor was quite obvious, his lack of basketball IQ and discipline off the floor made him a hard guy to trust, until he finally landed on the Cavaliers where his mindset finally changed.
Nonetheless, the Chicago Bulls had a shot to get the nice 2-way player during the 2006 campaign alongside PJ Brown in exchange for Tyson Chandler, just to be traded once again to the Denver Nuggets for a couple of second rounders and Howard Eisley, who could never suit up again due to an injury.
4. Jamal Crawford - New York Knicks
Jamal Crawford has always been known for his capacity to score in bunches in a short amount of time, being one of the most prolific and versatile offensive players the league has seen in a very long while, and being considered the ultimate 6th man of the year, as his 3 awards can tell you.
Sadly, the Bulls didn’t trust Crawford enough to keep him around during the start of the 04-05 campaign, as they wound up sending the now-Clipper to the New York Knicks alongside Jerome Williams to acquire Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington, Frank Williams and Cezary Trybanski. Needless to say, this was a completely futile trade for the Bulls, as they immediately traded him to the Rockets in exchange for pretty much anything.
3. Ron Artest & Brad Miller - Indiana Pacers
The Bulls shocked pretty much everybody when they let go one of the best defenders the league has ever seen in Ron Artest, as well as Brad Miller, to the Indiana Pacers just before the trade deadline in exchange for a future 2nd rounder, Jalen Rose, Travis Best and Norm Richardson.
Just after Artest left the Bulls, he reached his true potential and became an All-Star and the Defensive Player of the Year, as well as being remembered for his role in the infamous Malice in the Palace fight against the Detroit Pistons and several fans.
2. Artis Gilmore - San Antonio Spurs
You’d have to go way back to find out who this guy is, but just to make it simple, he was one of the greatest talents in the ABA before playing for the Bulls, averaging over 18 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks per game through his entire career.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough for the Bulls to keep him, and they wound up sending the 6-time All-Star to San Antonio in exchange for Dave Corzine and Mark Olberding, one guy that spent most of his career as a mediocre backup center, while the other spent just a year at the United Center, what a bummer.
1. LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers
Before becoming a huge star for the Portland Trail Blazers and then accepting a secondary role with the Spurs to chase a ring, the Bulls drafted LaMarcus out of Texas University with the 2nd overall pick just to immediately trade him to the Blazers in exchange for Tyrus Thomas.
Well, while Aldridge has lifetime averages of 19.1 points and 8.3 boards per game on 48% from the field with 5 All-Star appearances, Tyrus retired after just 8 years in the league averaging 7.7 points and 4.8 boards. Imagine what could’ve been of the Bulls if Rose, Aldridge and Noah had played together?