Chicago Bulls’ All-Time starting lineup by total win shares

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls. (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)
Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls. (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Yet to win an NBA championship or even qualify for the NBA Finals in the 21st century, you’ll have to forgive me if watching Denver secure their first championship in franchise history has me feeling a little… nostalgic. Instead of feeling sorry for myself over the Bulls’ state of mediocrity, however, I decided to boot up the ol’ time machine to take a look back at things and construct an all-time starting five if we were to rank each player by total win shares.

If we were discussing single-season performances, this list would likely look very different (and will perhaps be covered at another time). Instead, we’ll focus in on the players who devoted the greater part of their careers to the Bulls and left lasting legacies.

Here’s a look at what the Chicago Bulls all-time starting five would look like if we ranked players by their total win shares and the impact left on the franchise.

Kirk Hinrich wasn’t a player that’d blow you away with stats, but he gave an entire decade of great basketball to the Bulls.

Point Guard: Kirk Hinrich (47.6 WS)

This may come as a shock to many, but it’s actually Kirk Hinrich who currently holds the title for most win shares by any point guard in Chicago Bulls history. Although he never reached the peaks of superstardom, this feat is a testament to the many years of dependable service Captain Kirk dedicated to this franchise.

In 10.5 seasons in Chicago, Hinrich was an irreplaceable cornerstone as he helped lead the Bulls to a new era of success after a decade of mediocrity in the wake of Michael Jordan’s retirement. Hinrich was a multi-faceted player who could run the offense and open up good looks for his teammates, create his own offense, and play lockdown defense. It’s no coincidence the Bulls won 387 games with Hinrich at the helm.

As much as I enjoyed watching Hinrich in the fledgling days of my fandom, it should come as no surprise when I say he’s the weakest link here in this starting five. Much like their NFL counterpart, Chicago has historically failed to find ‘the man’ who can lead the team and run the offense as a star player in the league. Hinrich ranks 11th all-time in win shares for the Bulls, which is nothing to scoff at, but it’s only going to go up from here.

2nd string: Norm Van Lier (39.1 WS) 
3rd string: Derrick Rose (31.4 WS)