Chicago Bulls: The 5 biggest “what-ifs” in history

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Joakim Noah
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Joakim Noah /
3 of 6

4. What if the early 2000s Bulls made better draft decisions?

Following Michael Jordan’s second (but not final) retirement at the end of the 1998 season, as well as the departure of Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson, the Bulls had to hit the rebuild button – and fast.

One of my favorite activities is revisiting previous drafts and identifying who teams could’ve had – that is, if they took a player when somebody better was still available. The post-Jordan Bulls, fortunately, have a few of these to choose from.

Outside of the only wise choices they made in Elton Brand and Jamal Crawford, the Bulls’ Draft selections included Corey Benjamin, Marcus Fizer, Eddie Curry, Trenton Hassell and Tyson Chandler – whilst Chandler wasn’t a bad pick (he went on to win a Championship with the Dallas Mavericks and took home the DPOY award in 2011), it was the fact that the Bulls had traded their previous #1 overall pick in Elton Brand to the Clippers for his draft rights that hurt the most.

Sure, these picks aren’t exactly Anthony Bennett-levels of bad, but when you consider who else was available, you’ll no doubt want to go back in time and slap John Paxson…

…what if instead of the above players, the Bulls selected Rashard Lewis, Michael Redd, Gilbert Arenas, Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol? The team would’ve been much more competitive, that’s for sure.