NBA powers exchange superstars
In the 1996 NBA Finals, the Bulls would take care of business to win their fourth title of the decade over the talented and deep Seattle SuperSonics. Both of the teams out of the Western Conference that the Bulls faced in the three NBA Finals from 1996-1998 were no joke, and they could do a lot with a potential trade package in this type of discussion.
The SuperSonics would fall just short of getting back to the NBA Finals during the 1997-98 season. They would finish up the 1997-98 regular season with a record of 61-21 (good for tops in the Pacific Division). The only team that would finish with a better record than the SuperSonics in the West that season was the Jazz.
And the SuperSonics would eventually be upset by the upstart Los Angeles Lakers in the 1998 playoffs. They were ousted in five games in a second round series.
However, the Bulls could take advantage of the struggle the SuperSonics were going through to get back to the top of a deep race in the West in 1997. Pippen would immediately give them that superstar presence that had been there and done that before in the NBA Finals. Place him in a trade package along with Kukoc and Harper, and the Bulls could get a seriously valuable return.
The SuperSonics in return help the Bulls by sending 6-foot-11 fourth year center and multi-time All-Star selection Vin Baker along with superstar Hall-of-Fame point guard Gary Payton. The thought of how good a defensive backcourt of Jordan and “The Glove” would be is mind-boggling. Baker would also give the Bulls a huge boost at the center position, and a future franchise cornerstone.
A piece that could be thrown into the discussions here since his Bulls tenure would be done so soon after the 1997-98 season is center Luc Longley.