Here’s some real Chicago Bulls trade talk for you. Back in 1984, the Bulls did not make trades to get in position for Michael Jordan.
Think I’m lying? Read on. The Chicago Bulls with some help brought the NBA Draft Lottery that you all know so well to life.
Well Pippen Peoples, with Kevin Love officially off the Chicago Bulls trade talk radar and no rumors floating around about trades, it’s quiet on the trade front. Sometimes I really miss that. I feel that the most excited you Bulls fans get is about free agency and trades that directly affect your squad.
Well we here at Pippen Ain’t Easy do our own thing. If there is no Chicago Bulls trade talk going on around the league, we find something to talk about. The staff here at Pippen Ain’t Easy have created our own in-depth Chicago Bulls trade talk series taking a look back at the five best and worst trades in Chicago Bulls history. If you missed the previous pieces, no problem, just hop on over to Pippen Ain’t Easy where you can find those columns and a whole lot more news, analysis and comments from the Pippen Peoples.
Before we get started let’s do a quick recap of the best trades up until this point.
Chicago’s 5th best trade ever…
The Chicago Bulls traded one three peat center (Stacey King) for another (Luc Longley).
The start of this series talked about the Chicago Bulls trading Stacey King, who was a member of the first three peat championship teams to Minnesota for Luc Longley. It was a trade of two lottery players that didn’t pan out for their respective teams. Luc Longley went on to be a contributor to the second three peat championship teams while King eventually came back to be a Bulls announcer.
Chicago’s 4th best trade ever…
Jerry Krause salts the earth where the bridges were burned with Michael Jordan by trading Charles Oakley and a first round pick(Rod Strickland) to the Knicks for Bill Cartwright and a first round pick (Will Perdue).
Let’s all thank the lord that this trade worked out for Jerry Krause. If it hadn’t worked out, well let’s just say Michael Jordan’s retirement speech about Jerry Krause would have been more entertaining and probably more obscenity laced. Charles Oakley was traded for a rim protector and low post defender the Bulls needed at the time to make their championship run. The Bulls won and Krause could come out of his office without the Marines protecting him from Jordan.
Now that you have the recaps, let’s continue the Chicago Bulls trade talk series with the third best trade in Chicago Bulls history.
February 15, 1984
The Chicago Bulls traded Reggie Theus to the Kansas City Kings.
The Kansas City Kings traded Steve Johnson and three second round draft picks.
Okay Pippen Peoples. If there is one thing I can say about this franchise, the front office is consistent. What you saw back in 1984 is basically what the Bulls did this year. The only difference is that the Bulls had a maniac coach that refused to let this team lose in Tom Thibodeau. Then was lucky enough to have a player that had the same competitive drive in Joakim Noah.
Back in 1984, the Bulls did not have these two in the locker room. It showed too. Reggie Theus was a huge fan favorite (kind of like what Luol Deng was last year). Theus was known for his energy and scoring on the court (kind of like what Luol Deng did last year). Theus averaged 17.7 points per game in five and a half seasons with the Bulls before being traded. So understandably the Bulls fans were perturbed when management decided to dump the Bulls leading scorer to go in another direction (kind of like…oh forget it).
The Chicago Bulls traded Reggie Theus for one reason and one reason only.
Enough to get the number one spot in the draft.
Back in 1984, the number one pick was going to be Akeem Olajuwon, the center of the Houston Cougars aka the Phi Slamma Jamma dunking fraternity. The Bulls wanted Olajuwon along with every other garbage team in the NBA.
The Bulls were garbage too. Boy they tried to stink up the NBA after Theus left town. The Chicago Bulls went on to lose 27 of their last 33 games after the trade to finish 27-55.
Back in those days there was no draft lottery. The teams with the worst records in each conference flipped a coin for the number one pick. The Bulls showed all the shame of a drunk streaker at a soccer game. The Bulls wanted to get a chance at the coin flip. They actually were in the coin flip back in 1979 with the Los Angeles Lakers and lost.
The Lakers got some point guard named Magic Johnson who turned out to be okay and the Bulls got David Greenwood.
Well the Houston Rockets had their own game of stench working in the Western Conference. They had Ralph Sampson but somehow he came down with a case of bad breath and played sparingly down the stretch and the Rockets lost nine of their last ten.
That’s how the draft lottery was born. The NBA changed the rules the next year.
Even though Michael Jordan was the college player of the year, no one saw the epic heights he would achieve. How could anyone? The running joke has always been that Dean Smith was the only man to hold Jordan under twenty points.
Then Bulls general manager Rod Thorn was after Olajuwon. Michael Jordan was the second choice.
Well we all know what happened.
Houston won the coin flip and got the number one pick…again (see Cleveland wasn’t the only team to do it) and picked Olajuwon.
Portland…um let’s be kind here, selected Sam Bowie, a promising passing center out of Kentucky. They thought they could create another Bill Walton type player that could bring success.
Chicago selected Michael Jordan.
How did they do with these draft picks? Let’s put it this way…
One of these teams is doing its own thing…
One of theses teams is one and the same…
One of these teams is doing its own thing…
Now it’s time to say its name.
Well the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets won every NBA title from 1991 to 1998. Michael Jordan turned out to be the greatest player of our era scoring six rings for Chicago during this span.
When Jordan decided to retire and play baseball for 18 months, the Houston Rockets and Olajuwon won two NBA titles.
Umm Portland got a preview of what would happen when they drafted Greg Oden later on in history. Bowie was a bust. Injuries derailed his career. The Trailblazers did make the NBA Finals twice, once against the Bulls. It didn’t work out.
This trade should be number one, but it is number three because it was done by accident. This was not planned.
We’re almost there Pippen Peoples. Only two more trades to go. Keep it locked to Pippen Ain’t Easy as we continue to count down the five best and worst trades in Chicago Bulls history.
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