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10 Greatest Chicago Bulls Players Of All Time

10 Greatest Chicago Bulls Players Of All Time

The Chicago Bulls remain a legendary franchise in the NBA. With six championships in the 90s, the Bulls dynasty ranks as one of the greatest ever. Despite not making the NBA Finals since 1998, the Bulls remain a beloved franchise in the city, having topped attendance charts even when the team is not playing its best basketball. For 57 seasons, the team has compiled over 2,300 wins and produced some of the best basketball players ever.

This top-10 list could be stretched longer with some of the names that are here. From MVPs, Defensive Players of the Year, and All-Stars, the Bulls featured players that stretch back to the 60s. Needless to say, the Bulls know how to find talent as most of these players are homegrown drafted players that developed over time.

These are the all-time greatest players to wear a Bulls jersey.

Honorable Mentions

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

Years in Chicago: 10 (2004-2013)

Chicago Bulls: 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Career: 14.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Star (2012, 2013), All-Defensive Second Team (2009)

It wasn’t until after the 2000s that Deng developed into an All-Star, but he was a solid player during that time. Deng was a player you could count on for about 15 points a night, and he was the team’s best defender for years. For 10 years, Deng made his way into the top-5 for minutes played, field goals, and made two-point field goals.

Deng ranks in the top 10 for career records in multiple categories. Deng is ninth in offensive rebounds, as well as total rebounds. His defense helped him rank fifth in steals and 10th in blocks. Deng is also one of five players to accumulate at least 10,000 career points with the Bulls.

Chet Walker

Chet Walker

Years in Chicago: 6 (1969-1975)

Chicago Bulls: 20.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Career: 18.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Honors: 4x All-Star (1970, 1971, 1973, 1974)

Chet Walker was a highlight. Despite not ranking in the top-10 for games or minutes, Walker owns the sixth-most made field goals and ranks sixth all-time in total points with 9,788 career points. His 20.6 points per game with the Bulls rank fifth among career averages.

Walker was a solid offensive player, as his 46.8 offensive win shares ranked third in franchise history. His combined 67.0 win shares rank third as well. Walker enjoyed four All-Star appearances in six seasons with the team. During his time, the Bulls made the Conference Finals in 1974 and 1975.

Horace Grant

Horace Grant

Years in Chicago: 7 (1987-1993)

Chicago Bulls: 12.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG

Career: 11.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG

Honors: 3x NBA Champion (1991-93), 1x All-Star (1994), 2x All-Defensive Second Team (1993, 1994)

Grant was the most dependable big man on the team. Grant was asked to rebound and bully his way in the middle. For his efforts, he helped the Bulls complete a three-peat in the early 90s. After the Bulls won in 1993, Grant solidified himself as an All-Star when Michael Jordan wasn’t on the team. After that season, the Magic made him one of the highest-paid players in the league.

With the Bulls, Grant finished his career as the all-time leader in offensive rebounds, which has since been broken. He ranks in the top 10 in minutes, two-point field goals, rebounds, steals, and blocks. His 53.0% shooting percentage with the team is third-best, while he ranks fifth in total win shares.

Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine

Years in Chicago: 5 (2017-Present)

Chicago Bulls: 24.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 19.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Star (2021, 2022)

This offseason, LaVine was awarded the largest contract ever handed out by the Bulls. Call it the market, but if LaVine keeps up this pace, he will rank in the top spot for many categories. Currently, LaVine’s 24.8 points per game are the second-best points per game average. As it stands, his 731 three-point field goals are third in franchise history. He will likely one day surpass the 1,049 three-point field goals that Kirk Hinrich made.

LaVine still has a lot to prove. He owns just one playoff appearance with the team and has never played in the second round. For a player getting paid $215 million, there will be pressure on him to lead the team. With that said, he called Chicago his home and appears to be ready to etch his name in some history with the team.

Toni Kukoc

Toni Kukoc

Years in Chicago: 7 (1993-2000)

Chicago Bulls: 14.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 11.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: 3x NBA Champion (1996-98), Sixth Man Of The Year (1996)

When Kukoc first started with the team, Jordan gave him a hard time until he saw what he could do on the court. Kukoc was an international star, but saw his stock rise once he came to the NBA. Kukoc was a prime contributor for the Bulls during the 1995-96 season that saw the team win an NBA-record of 72 games. He was the Sixth Man of the Year, while also serving that role for the team’s second three-peat.

Kukoc never recorded an All-Star appearance, but he ranks 10th with the Bulls in assists, steals, and player efficiency rating. Kukoc joins honorable mentions Luol Deng and Horace Grant in the top 10 for value over a replacement player. Overall, Kukoc was a dependable player for the Bulls.

10. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

Years in Chicago: 6 (2011-2017)

Chicago Bulls: 15.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Career: 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Honors: 3x All-Star (2015-17), All-NBA Third Team (2017), 2x All-Defensive Second Team (2014, 2016), Most Improved Player (2015)

The Bulls could have built a team around Jimmy Butler, but the team elected to trade him in 2017. Given what Butler has done since he left Chicago, we could be talking about a top-5 Bull ever had he stayed. Instead, the former Bulls' first-round pick has turned into a top-15 player in the league. Bulls fans remember that player in the making with the team, who was an All-Defensive player that made three straight All-Star appearances from 2015 to 2017.

Butler ranks seventh in team history in steals and eighth in player efficiency rating. His 32.0 offensive win shares rank sixth and his 49.3 win shares rank eighth. The Bulls could have been so much more, having they kept him. Instead, they traded him for Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Kris Dunn.

9. Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

Years in Chicago: 9 (2007-2016)

Chicago: 9.3 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Career: 8.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Star (2013, 2014), All NBA First Team (2014), Defensive Player Of The Year (2014), 2x All-Defensive First Team (2013, 2014) All-Defensive Second Team (2011)

The emotional heart and soul of the Bulls recently was honored by the team this past season. Noah made the Ring of Honor for his efforts in nine seasons with the team. Noah was not afraid of anyone and helped the Bulls remain competitive during some tough years that saw Derrick Rose injured. In 2013 and 2014, Noah was a top-3 center in the league.

That led to Noah winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2014 and an All-NBA First Team appearance. That defense was the name of his game. Noah ranks fourth in team history in rebounds but is the team's all-time leader in offensive rebounds. Noah also ranks third in blocks, becoming one of three players to amass at least 800 blocks for his career.

8. Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman

Years in Chicago: 3 (1995-1998)

Chicago: 5.2 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Career: 7.3 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Honors: 3x NBA Champion (1996-98), All-Defensive First Team (1996), 3x Rebounding Champion (1996-98)

For a player only spending three seasons with a team, Rodman had as great of a run as anyone. Rodman secured three straight championships while playing with the Bulls. That also included leading the league in rebounding three years in a row. His offensive rebounding was so great that his 1,097 offensive boards rank 10th all-time.

Rodman’s 15.3 rebounds per game average with the Bulls is a team record. The next-highest amount is Pau Gasol with 11.4 rebounds per game. Rodman also holds team records for offensive rebounding percentage, defensive rebounding percentage, and total rebounding percentage. One of the game’s best rebounders was essential for the team winning a three-peat from 1996 to 1998.

7. Artis Gilmore

Artis Gilmore

Years in Chicago: 7 (1976-1982)

Chicago: 19.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.1 BPG

Career: 18.8 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.4 BPG

Honors: 4x All-Star (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982), All-Defensive Second Team (1978)

Gilmore has his name ranked in the top 10 for 17 NBA categories. The former ABA star settled into the NBA quite nicely when the teams merged into one. Gilmore made four All-Star appearances, one All-Defensive team, and is the only player to hold more than 1,000 blocks in his career with the Bulls. His 1,029 blocks remain a record with the team today.

Gilmore ranks in the top-10 for minutes, field goals, two-point field goals, offensive rebounds, total rebounds, and points. Gilmore holds the team record for field goal percentage with 58.7%, which is also the team record for two-point field goal percentage. His 2.1 blocks per game is a team record, as is his 63.1% true shooting percentage.

6. Norman Van Lier

Norman Van Lier

Years in Chicago: 7 (1972-1978)

Chicago: 12.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career: 11.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Honors: 3x All-Star (1974, 1976, 1977), All-NBA Second Team (1974), 2x All-Defensive First Team (1974, 1976), 4x All-Defensive Second Team (1972, 1973, 1975, 1978)

Van Lier might have been the best defensive guard in team history. In seven seasons, Van Lier made six appearances on the All-Defensive Team. On top of that, he was running the offense as the team’s starting point guard. When Van Lier left the Bulls, he was the all-time leader in assists for about 20 years.

Van Lier was also the team’s leader in steals for the same amount of time. His 6.9 assists per game narrowly trail Ennis Whatley’s 7.0 per game for the team record for career average. Van Lier was also durable, averaging 35.7 minutes per game while cracking the top-10 in defensive win shares.

5. Jerry Sloan

Jerry Sloan

Years in Chicago: 10 (1966-76)

Chicago: 14.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career: 14.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Honors: 2x All-Star (1967, 1969), 4x All-Defensive First Team (1969, 1972, 1974, 1975), 2x All-Defensive Second Team (1970, 1971)

Sloan might have been the best player on the Bulls that never won a Defensive Player of the Year Award. In 10 seasons, Sloan made the All-Defensive team six times, which included four appearances on the First Team. Sloan was the former leader in games played, minutes, and total rebounds.

Sloan recorded 10,233 career points to make the 10K club, while his 2.2 steals per game is second among career averages with the team. Sloan holds the team record for defensive rating, while his 36.6 defensive win shares rank third all-time. Sloan would later become a coach for the Utah Jazz, who played his former team the Bulls in the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998.

4. Bob Love

Bob Love

Years in Chicago: 9 (1968-1977)

Chicago: 21.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Career: 17.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Honors: 3x All-Star (1971-73), All-NBA Second Team (1971, 1972), All-Defensive Second Team (1972-74)

Before a couple of legends came around, Bob Love was the greatest offensive player in team history. Love had set records for field goals, field goal attempts, points, minutes, and points per game. Instead, Love ranks third among many categories, including his 12,623 career points. The three-time All-Star was underrated when it came to NBA awards, but his place in Bulls history is being a top-5 player ever.

Love also ranks 10 in total rebounds, while his 21.3 points per game are fourth-best. With Love, Walker, Gilmore, and Sloan, there were some pretty good games played in the 70s. When you look at the offensive skills that Love displayed, he deserves to be recognized as one of the best Bulls players ever.

3. Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose 2010

Years in Chicago: 8 (2008-2016)

Chicago: 19.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Career: 18.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Honors: MVP Award (2011), 3x All-Star (2010-12), All-NBA First Team (2011), Rookie Of The Year (2009)

If Derrick Rose never tears his ACL, are we talking about the Bulls as champions in 2012 or 2013? The Bulls finished the 2011-12 season with the best record in the league. The team would have had to beat LeBron James and the Heat in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 playoffs. Then, the team would have had to find a way to beat him between 2015 to 2018 when he played with the Cavaliers. In the end, many believe that had Rose not gotten hurt, the Bulls would have a title.

After all, Rose is the youngest player to ever win an MVP Award. He was one of the best attackers at the rim and was undeniably clutch. Despite his ailments, Rose ranks in the top-10 in made field goals, two-point field goals, and points. His assists are fifth-best, while his 6.2 average with the team is third. Rose was a superstar before he got hurt and is just one of two players in team history to ever win an MVP Award.

2. Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen

Years in Chicago: 12 (1987-1998, 2003-2004)

Chicago: 17.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career: 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Honors: 6x NBA Champion (1991-93, 1996-98), 7x All-Star (1990, 1992-97), All-Star Game MVP (1994), 3x All-NBA First Team (1994-96), 2x All-NBA Second Team (1992, 1997), 2x All-NBA Third Team (1993, 1998), 7x All-Defensive First Team (1992-98, All-Defensive Second Team (1991), Steals Leader (1995)

Even if Rose won a single title with the team, he would likely still be third. Topping these next two players will require some serious work. Scottie Pippen could have been a superstar on another team, but his teammate was the greatest player of all time. Pippen’s resume with the Bulls features six championships, where he was an All-Defensive caliber player that could score 20 points a night too. This All-NBA player might have lived in the shadow of his star teammate, but he was a true Hall of Famer.

Pippen owns the second-most games, minutes, field goals, two-point field goals, assists, steals, and points in team history. That list goes on to owning the second-most offensive, defensive, and total win shares, as well as value over a replacement player. Pippen shouldn’t be viewed as a second-best player because he was extremely valuable and the Bulls would not have won six titles without him.

1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan 1998

Years in Chicago: 13 (1984-93, 1994-98)

Chicago: 31.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 2.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Career: 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Honors: 6x NBA Champion (1991-93, 1996-98), 6x Finals MVP (1991-93, 1996-98), 5x MVP Award (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998), 12x All-Star (1985-93, 1996-98), 3x All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998), 10x All-NBA First Team (1987-93, 1996-98), All-NBA Second Team (1985), Defensive Player Of The Year (1988), 9x All-Defensive First Team (1988-93, 1996-98), Rookie Of The Year (1985), 10x Scoring Champion (1987-93, 1996-98), 3x Steals Leader (1988, 1990, 1993), 3x Slam Dunk Contest Champion (1987, 1988)

The greatest Bull is also the greatest player of all time. When you talk about his greatness on the court, you are also talking about his Bulls career. While Jordan ranks among the best in NBA ranks, Jordan holds 27 team records with the Bulls. That includes records on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. While Jordan was a 10-time scoring champion, he also owns nine appearances on the All-Defensive First Team and won a Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988.

Jordan owns the most points, rebounds, assists, and steals with the team. He ranks second in blocks. His 29,277 career points are over 14,000 more points than Pippen, who ranks second. Despite leaving the team for about a season and a half, Jordan owns the record for games and minutes played. In the end, it's the six championships and his perfect 6-0 record in the Finals with six Finals MVPs that make a sound argument for his legacy. Since Jordan left, the Bulls have not competed at the same heights. 


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