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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Denzel Valentine, Chicago Bulls, Draft Busts
Denzel Valentine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Power Forward: Marcus Fizer (2000, Pick #4)

Drafted fourth overall in 2000 after a brutal 17-65 season that ranks out as the second-worst in franchise history, Marcus Fizer was intended to be the consolation prize for a team lost in the absence of Michael Jordan.

Over the course of his career, Fizer averaged 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds while posting a miserable 48.1% true shooting percentage despite his size. It seemed as though the Bulls were prepping Fizer to take on a starting role, but by his third season, he would remain permanently glued to the bench. After finishing a four-year rookie contract in Chicago, Fizer would play in just 57 games across the next two seasons before his playing days came to an end.

In fact, Fizer’s play was so disappointing that the Bulls somehow got even worse after their historically terrible season. The Bulls would post an embarrassing 15-67 record before continuing on to draft another two of the draft busts mentioned in this list in 2001 and 2002.

While Tyrus Thomas may get the (dis)honorable mention here due to the fact the Bulls lost out on LaMarcus Aldridge by trading for him, Fizer beats him out here in terms of sheer draft bust disappointment.

Dishonorable Mention: Tyrus Thomas (2006, Pick #4)

Small Forward: Denzel Valentine (2016, Pick #14)

When the Chicago Bulls selected the 2016 AP Player of the Year Denzel Valentine, they were likely aiming to pick up a high-IQ player that could shoot and help the team win immediately. Even if Valentine didn’t have a superstar ceiling, he should have still been a fine pick at No. 14 overall. Unfortunately, the Bulls would ultimately get none of these things, as Valentine proved to be one of the team’s most frustrating draft picks in recent memory.

As a senior at Michigan State, Valentine averaged 19.2 points, 7.8 assists, 7.5 rebounds, and shot a ridiculous 44.4% from deep even on a high volume of attempts. He had the size, shooting, and playmaking to feel like a sure thing coming out of college.

After playing terribly in the first round of the NCAA tournament and getting upset by a 15th-seeded Middle Tennessee team, Valentine’s career would only go downhill from there. He’s averaged just 7 points per game in the NBA while his 3-point shot came back down to earth at a career mark of 36%. On top of all this, injuries have hampered an already defensive liability like Valentine into becoming of the worst defenders in the entire NBA.

Despite his fall off, Valentine’s confidence never seemed to shake, as he continued to make boneheaded decisions left and right. Of course, the most notorious of which came at the end of a close game with the Miami Heat.

After that, the rest is history. Fortunately, Valentine can terrorize Bulls fans with his shot selection no longer.

Dishonorable Mention: Brad Sellers (1986, Pick #9)