Pippen Ain’t Easy’s All-Time Chicago Bulls Fantasy Draft

Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan and NCAA president Mark Emmert during halftime of the game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan and NCAA president Mark Emmert during halftime of the game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dwyane Wade, SG, Chicago Bulls
Jul 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Dwayne Wade addresses the media during a press conference at Advocate Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Final thoughts:

Steve on his roster:

With the first pick in the Pippen Ain’t Easy All-Time Bulls Draft, I knew the pressure was on. I had to get this pick right.  Ultimately, this needs to be the person you build your team around and run a lot plays for.  Who better than the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan?  The issue is he had a ton of solid years with the Bulls.  I had to pinpoint one of his many great years for my draft pick.  There will always be a debate as to what year Jordan was TRULY the best but I looked at a few main objectives for this draft; stats, accolades, and youth.

So, what does this all look like?  A Bulls fan can dream right?  Just imagine this starting five:

PG – Norm Van Lier

SG – Michael Jordan

SF – Jimmy Butler

PF – Horace Grant

C – Artis Gilmore

6th man – Steve Kerr

Defensively, this team would DOMINATE. After all, that was really my focus all along. All these players have been on an All-Defensive team at least once in their careers. At a quick glance, I could definitely use some more shooting, but that’s where one of the deadliest long-ball shooters in Steve Kerr came in.

Offensively, I truly think running an up-tempo, current NBA-style game with this lineup would be very successful. A pick-and-roll game of Jordan/Butler with Grant/Gilmore would be fun to watch, not to mention the isolation game with Jordan and Butler. Van Lier, Jordan and Butler can all handle the ball well, and I like their ability to get to the rim. Gilmore and Grant would be the tenacious rebounders both offensively and defensively.

Matthew on his roster:

This draft for me was all about available talent. I tried to take the best player at the positions I needed, regardless of whether or not they fit a specific system of play. So even though Bob Love can’t be a stretch-four shooting three-pointers, his overall talent level means he can still beat up anyone.

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  • Michael Jordan will be playing point guard on my team. Although 1990-91 MJ is the year after he actually played point guard for 24 games and averaged 30 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists, he still will be a frightening mismatch at the one. I feel bad for whatever team thinks Derrick Rose can compete with him (think of when LeBron James shut Rose down in the playoffs).

    My biggest priority besides drafting MJ was to get a big defensive anchor to play center. Because of this, it was a no-brainer for me to select 1977-78 Artis Gilmore in the second round. That year, “The A-Train” averaged 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks per game. Defense wins championships, and the tandem of Jordan and Gilmore will smother the opposition.

    Rounds 3-5 were just about finding the best player at the remaining positions. All three of the players I drafted were phenomenal players who can make positive impacts on the team. Jerry Sloan will slide over to shooting guard, and the small forward position will go to Scottie Pippen.

    In the last round, I needed an amazing player to be my team’s sixth man, and I was extremely fortunate to snag 2000-01 Fred Hoiberg. Steph Curry-Hoiberg (I know, that’s the worst nickname ever created) averaged an absurd nine points per game that year while shooting 41 percent from three, establishing himself as one of the greatest players ever.

    What’s a good team without a good coach, though? Nothing.

    So, in order to really solidify this team as the best one, I made sure to select the best coach available. And that coach is none other than Fred Hoiberg.

    I wonder if 2001 Hoiberg can run the Hoiball system effectively?

    Jake on his roster:

    I had to go with Derrick Rose and Jo with my first two picks because through the years, the Bulls have not been particularly deep at point guard or center. Noah’s 2013-14 season is probably the best center season in Bulls history. The same goes for point guards and Rose’s MVP year.

    I wanted to hold off on grabbing MJ because let’s face it, no matter what version of MJ you get, he’s still Michael Jordan. Plus, getting the worst version of Jordan would be like watching the worst season of Breaking Bad, The entire series was practically flawless, so I’m perfectly fine with watching any season of MJ.

    Besides, I actually ended up with the version of Michael Jordan I wanted. With drafting Rose I knew I would need some shooting in my court, because who wants to have two backcourt players who can’t shoot. That would just be a disaster, am I right or am I right?

    Anyways, MJ shot 43 percent from deep that year and he led the Bulls to the single-greatest season in NBA history.Deng was taken to space the floor, and I already had enough fire power on my team, so I grabbed Scottie Pippen to go all out on defense.

    I ended the draft with Thibs and Jimmy Butler for defensive purposes. If my team needs to whole a lead late, tell me who is scoring on a lineup if Jimmy Butler, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Luol Deng and peak Joakim Noah?

    Not even The Monstars stand a chance against this squad.

    Michael on his roster:

    Well, let’s see: Scottie Pippen’s best season ever, the peak of Michael Jordan’s popularity in his first NBA run, one of the best International players ever, a man with ice in his veins and a giant tree.

    I think I turned out just fine in this draft.

    Jordan is Jordan in any year, plus getting Pippen’s best season ever (and the year he should’ve won MVP)? I’ll take that. Plus, I have the 1995-96 Sixth Man of the Year in Toni Kukoc and his ability to stretch the floor off the bench for Jordan and Pippen to penetrate the lane.

    He spent just one season with the Bulls, but George Gervin was a bad man during his career. He was truly one of the most gifted players offensively before the game evolved into what it is today.

    Defensively, if you drive the lane, you’re going to get hit. Charles Oakley was one of the baddest dudes in the NBA during his career and when he hit you, you felt it the next day. On the wing, I have a 24-year-old version of Luol Deng to stop ball movement and penetration. Deng could easily start a ton of offensive breaks and let Jordan and Pippen handle the rest on the other end.

    Oh yeah, and I have one of the greatest coaches in sports in Phil Jackson to keep these troops in line.

    CONFIRMED: A 74-8 season and blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

    Next: Final thoughts (continued)