Building the Chicago Bulls’ all-time draft bust starting lineup

Jay Williams, Chicago Bulls (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Jay Williams, Chicago Bulls (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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For a franchise with a struggling reputation before and ever since the Michael Jordan era, it should be expected that the Chicago Bulls have drafted their fair sure of busts over the years. That’s surprisingly not the case, as the franchise has consistently chosen talented players both in the high lottery and in the late first round. However, it hasn’t always translated to team success.

It’s for that reason I believe the few draft busts the team has selected over the years stick out in our minds far more than all the times they drafted decent role players and genuinely good starters.

Despite the fact that the Bulls tanked for draft picks for half a decade under the leadership of John Paxson and Gar Forman, their picks all fizzled out and left Chicago with nothing to show for it. This list just further compounds how tanking doesn’t always equate to long-term success, as all but one of the players in this list were lottery picks.

What would a starting lineup comprised of the biggest draft busts in Chicago Bulls’ history look like?

Center: Stacey King (1989, Pick #6)

As much as we have all come to love Stacey King‘s color commentary, it’s still difficult reminiscing on what could have been during the 1989 NBA Draft. Don’t get me wrong, Stacey was an acceptable rotational player and his eight seasons in the league prove as much, but Chicago had to have been hoping for so much more from him when they selected King sixth overall.

When the Bulls took King with their pick, they left a plethora of All-Star talent on the board including the likes of Shawn Kemp (drafted with the No. 17 pick), Mookie Blaylock (No. 12), Cliff Robinson (No. 36), and even Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway (No.14).

Even Simeon and University of Illinois product Nick Anderson went on to have a much more successful career. Anderson (or any of the aforementioned All-Stars) would have become a fan favorite in Chicago despite being drafted five spots lower than King.

This is the last time the Bulls would get a lottery pick for over a whole decade as Jordan rose to prominence, which is why it stands out as such a huge missed opportunity. Ironically, the Bulls still ended up making out like bandits in this draft, as they selected B.J. Armstrong later on in the first round with the 18th overall pick.

Dishonorable Mention: Eddy Curry (2001, Pick #4)