In today’s piece, we’re using some data, records, numbers and reports to form a (hopefully) educated opinion piece on what would be the Chicago Bulls all-time starting lineup if we were able to pull players from their peak and slot them on a roster right now.
Of note, as it is with anything so subjective, please don’t hate us for trying.
Chicago Bulls all-time starting lineup
Point guard: Derrick Rose
The Bulls selected Rose with the first overall pick in the 2008 draft after winning the draft lottery. Derrick was already Chicago’s favorite son after having a legendary high school career at Simeon Academy.
Now, Rose was ready to take the NBA world by storm in his hometown and boy did he ever. During his rookie season with the Bulls, Rose averaged 16.8 points and 6.3 assists en route to winning the Rookie of the Year Award and guiding Chicago to the playoffs.
Rose scored 36 points in his playoff debut against the Boston Celtics, tying Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA record for most points scored by a rookie in a postseason debut. Oh, and he also racked up 11 assists in that game.
During his second season in Chicago, Rose put up 20.8 points and 6.0 assists. By making the All-Star team, Rose became the first Bulls player since some guy named Michael Jordan to make an All-Star team.
Rose’s third season in the NBA was historic. He averaged 25.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists that campaign, winning the MVP award. Rose was only 22 and he’s still the youngest player in NBA history to win the MVP.
Rose finished his Bulls career with averages of 19.7 points and 6.2 assists. He’s top 10 in franchise history in both points and assists.
Derrick would have likely played his entire NBA career with the Bulls had it not been for injuries. He’s still the most popular Chicago player in the post-Jordan era.
Shooting guard: Michael Jordan
Where do we even begin with His Airness? Jordan is not only the best Bulls guard ever, but he’s also the greatest player of all-time.
Jordan finished his Bulls career with averages of 31.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He won six championships and six Finals MVPs. MJ also won five regular-season MVPs, 10 scoring titles, the 1988 Defensive Player of the Year and the 1985 Rookie of the Year Award.
MJ scored a career-high 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 28, 1990. Before that, he torched Larry Bird and the Celtics for 63 points in the 1986 playoffs, a performance that left everyone in Boston in awe of Mike.
Jordan averaged 33.4 points per game in the playoffs for his career, including 43.7 points per contest during the 1986 playoffs. The man was simply a different beast out there on the basketball court.
Small forward: Scottie Pippen
As we saw in episode 2 of the “The Last Dance,” Pippen was very underappreciated by Bulls management. Scottie was one of the most versatile players the game has ever seen, and it’s a shame Jerry Krause and Chicago management didn’t pay him what he deserved.
Pippen finished his Bulls career with averages of 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He’s second only to Jordan in franchise history in games played, minutes played, field goals and points.
During his prime, Pippen averaged 20.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists for the Bulls, winning six championships and making six All-Star teams along the way. Scottie was also the 1994 All-Star Game MVP and he will always be the second-greatest player in Bulls franchise history.
Power forward: Dennis Rodman
EVERYONE in Chicago hated Rodman when he was on the Detroit Pistons. But when the Bulls acquired the Worm from the San Antonio Spurs in 1995, Rodman quickly became a fan favorite in the Windy City.
Rodman led the league in rebounding all three years he was with the Bulls. He put up 5.2 points and 15.3 rebounds during his tenure in Chicago and was named a Hall of Famer in 2011.
Dennis is the Bulls’ all-time leader in rebounds per game and that’s a record which probably will never be broken.
Center: Artis Gilmore
LaVine went with Pau Gasol for his pick at center. Gasol only played two seasons with the Bulls, so he can’t really be considered an all-time Chicago great despite being a future Hall of Famer.
Gasol is more of a legend with the Los Angeles Lakers since he won two championships alongside Kobe Bryant.
The best center in Bulls franchise history is Artis Gilmore and it’s not even close. The A-Train is the team’s all-time leader in blocks and field goal percentage. He’s also sixth in total rebounds and seventh in points.
Gilmore was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. He averaged 20.1 points and 11.5 rebounds from 1977-1982 for Chicago, making four All-Star appearances. Nevertheless, this is the end of our attempt of putting together a Chicago Bulls all-time starting lineup.