If general manager Jerry Krause and the Chicago Bulls were to offload Scottie Pippen ahead of the 1997-98 season, what would be a good deal to pursue?
The year was 1997. The Chicago Bulls were coming off their second straight title, and their fifth of the last seven years. The 1997-98 regular season was looming large as the final opportunity for those great dynasty Bulls teams to win one more title. This veteran Bulls team was looking to make “The Last Dance” a fun for the ages and win their sixth title of the decade. That would solidify the Bulls as likely the most accomplished dynasty in the modern era of sports.
The trio of stars that continued to spearhead the Bulls during the 1997-98 season included forwards Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and shooting guard Michael Jordan. There were other solid pieces of that supporting cast on The Last Dance team too, namely forward Toni Kukoc, sharpshooting guard Steve Kerr, and point guard Ron Harper.
A lot of key parts of that Bulls team allowed them to get their sixth NBA Championship of the decade, over a very talented Utah Jazz team led by Hall-of-Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone. The Bulls would mostly dismantle that core following the 1998 NBA Finals, though, as they beat the Jazz in back-to-back years.
Pippen in particular had one of the harshest endings to this run with the Bulls. He didn’t get near the contract/dollar amount he desired or deserved throughout nearly the entirety of the 1990’s. And he would finally find himself with another team ahead of the 1998-99 season.
Here’s a look into three retrospective trade packages that the Chicago Bulls could’ve put together that would’ve offered value on both sides for Hall-of-Fame forward Scottie Pippen, ahead of or during the 1997-98 season.