The Chicago Bulls are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA, alongside the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. After Michael Jordan’s emergence as a superstar, Chicago set the bar of excellence as a franchise in the NBA, winning six titles during the 1990s. This list will pay homage to some of the greatest players in Chicago Bulls history, describing their impact to the organization. Games played, statistics, and cultural impact were all considered in these rankings.
|Rank||Name||GP||PTS/G||REB/G||AST/G||FG%||3PT%||STL/G||BLK/G||All-Star Appearances||All-NBA||NBA Championships||MVPS|
|22||Norm Van Lier||746||11.8||4.8||7.0||.414||N/A||1.8||.2||3||1||0||0|
|40||Metta World Peace||991||13.2||4.5||2.7||.414||.339||1.7||.5||1||1||1||0|
#1 Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time. His stats and intangibles are second to none. Jordan instilled a level of fear into opposing players whenever he was on the court. Jordan’s two separate three-peats resulted in some of the greatest moments in NBA history. Jordan could do it all by playing elite defense, shooting at a high percentage, and hitting clutch shots when his team needed it. Of course, Jordan makes the top of this list.
#2 Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen was Jordan’s side-kick for the 90s Chicago Bulls. However, he wasn’t just a sidekick; he was a star himself. One of the best defenders of all time, Pippen shut down every team’s best offensive player. Coupled with Jordan’s perimeter defense, guards and forwards faced the nightmare challenge of trying to score the ball on them and, more often than not, came up short.
#3 Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman brought the swagger to the ’90s Bulls. Known for his bachelor lifestyle off the court, Rodman was a bigger-than-life personality, constantly bringing charisma and energy to the court. Arguably the best rebounder in history, Rodman made it his goal to outrebound everyone on the court. His interior defense was also legendary, giving Chicago everything it needed to perfectly complement Pippen and Jordan.
#4 Ron Harper
Ron Harper played the tail end of his career with the Chicago Bulls. He brought a veteran presence to the Bulls’ second three-peat. Time after time, Harper stepped up to defend the opposing team’s best offensive guards; he took a reduced role in Chicago just to focus on winning championships. His statistics from his prior years to joining the Bulls prove that. Harper’s five titles are certainly no fluke.
#5 Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose will always be a Chicago Bulls icon. A hometown legend, Derrick Rose triumphed over humble beginnings to become the number one draft pick in 2008. He impressed in his third season, winning the 2010-2011 MVP award and becoming the youngest MVP in NBA history. After a few playoff appearances and game-winners, injuries took a toll on the star. Sadly, this halted his seemingly historic career. Without injuries, Rose may have finished his career in the top three on this list.
#6 Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore was tough. At 7’2’’ and 240 pounds, Gilmore was a lengthy monster in the post, blocking every shot taken in the paint. In the ’70s and early ’80s, there weren’t many guys with his combination of size and skill, giving Gilmore many opportunities to decimate his opponents. For the Bulls, he was a near-double-double threat with 20+ points and 9+ rebounds per game. Gilmore was an elite post-presence during his era.
#7 Toni Kukoc
Toni Kukoc makes this list for his steady offensive play and sixth-man role in the Bulls’ second three-peat. While not a consistent starter, Kukoc was instrumental in his off-the-bench spark role. A point forward, Kukoc was able to hit jump shots and threes consistently, make plays for his teammates, and be serviceable on defense. In the modern NBA, Kukoc would be dominant; he was a truly special addition to those Chicago Bulls teams.
#8 Horace Grant
Horace Grant was a key contributor to the Bulls’ first three-peat between 1991 to 1993. Nicknamed “The General,” Grant was a stout interior defensive presence. While he didn’t collect a lot of blocks, what made him special was his elite footwork, which allowed him to stay in front of his defenders. Overall, Grant was a huge piece in the Bulls’ championship puzzle.
#9 Bob Love
Love was an integral piece of the late-1960s to mid-1970s Bulls teams. The Bulls were founded in the mid-60s, and Love joined not long after, providing substantial offensive output. Love and the rest of the 1974-75 squad took Golden State to seven games in the Conference Finals, but fell short of making an NBA Finals. If it weren’t for players like Love, Chet Walker, and Jerry Sloan, the Bulls might not still exist today.
#10 Jerry Sloan
Jerry Sloan was the original Chicago Bull. Drafted first in the Bulls expansion draft, Sloan proved to be a valuable contributor and leader of the franchise. Averaging roughly 16 points per game, Sloan knew how to get to the basket and score with ease. His basketball IQ was high for his time, and he is credited for innovating the style of play during his era. His leadership translated into a very successful coaching career.
#11 Chet Walker
7-time All-Star Chet Walker was a star for the Bulls in the early ’70s. Playing the shooting guard position, Walker simply dominated, averaging nearly 20 points every single one of his seasons. Chet and Sloan were the undisputed stars of this new franchise and led the team to early playoff success. While Chet never earned a championship, Chet’s status as a Bulls legend should not be diminished.
#12 Luc Longley
Luc Longley was the starting center during the Bulls’ second three-peat. A quality big man, Longley played his role as the do-it-all dirty work center. He was infamous for being Michael Jordan’s favorite screen-setter and pick-and-roll option. Longley was a valuable string that kept the Bull’s stars playing in unison.
#13 Joakim Noah
Defensive player of the year Joakim Noah was a force. A college legend with the Billy Donovan-led Florida Gators, Noah entered the league with the tough, gritty attitude of many previous Bulls legends. Along with Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, Noah anchored the Bulls defense. Nothing got past him in the paint as he had great footwork, balance, and competitive spirit. Noah was the heart of the Derrick Rose-led Chicago Bulls.
#14 Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler plays with so much heart and was key to the gritty Chicago Bulls teams of the early 2010s. A former second-round pick with a chip on his shoulder, Jimmy was a great all-around player. His sturdy, tall frame and work ethic allowed him to become a great All-Defense caliber level. On offense, he has steadily improved and, at one point, became the leader of the post-Derrick Rose Bulls.
#15 John Paxson
John Paxson makes this list so high because of his contributions to the Bulls three-peat and his role as a general manager and vice president of Bulls between 2003 and 2020. On the court, Paxson was a three-point sharpshooter and a great complement to Jordan’s slashing ability. Paxson’s shooting made Jordan’s life much easier, and his big shots in crucial games led to his legendary status and three championships.
#16 Steve Kerr
Three-point sniper Steve Kerr was always on target with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. While never starting for the Bulls, Kerr was always called upon by Phil Jackson whenever he needed to stretch the floor. Kerr almost always delivered. With a career three-point percentage above 45%, Kerr goes down as one of the best three-point shooters of all time.
#17 B.J. Armstrong
B.J. Armstrong was an unsung hero of the early 90s Bulls teams that secured their first three-peat; he averaged 10.3 points per game on a hyper-efficient 49/44/85 shooting split during those championship years. Armstrong was a consistent starter during the 1992-93 Bulls team but came off the bench during the prior two seasons. Had MJ not retired, Armstrong would have continued to be a pivotal piece for that organization; however, he was gone by the time Jordan returned.
#18 Bill Cartwright
Bill Cartwright was the starting center for the Bulls’ first three-peat. Cartwright was a strong presence at the basket and also knew how to play his role. With Pippen and Jordan leading the offense, Cartwright played behind the scenes, dominating the paint. He could score with ease and stay in front of his man in the post. Bill Cartwright deserves recognition for his role in these Bulls’ championships.
#19 Reggie Theus
Reggie Theus started his great career with the Chicago Bulls. A combo guard, Theus could do it all. He racked up nearly six assists per game while scoring 20 points and shooting 46% from the field. On defense, Theus was just as good, averaging nearly 1.3 steals throughout his career. There wasn’t anything Theus couldn’t do on the court, which is what made him so valuable for the early 80’s Bulls.
#20 Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine only continues to get better. Drafted by the Timberwolves for his otherworldly athleticism, LaVine has grown to become quite the versatile offensive weapon. Averaging roughly 25 points per game for the Bulls over his past handful of seasons, LaVine can shoot lights out and get to the basket with ease. He’s growing as a playmaker with the Bulls and should rise on this list as time goes on.
#21 DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan has not spent much time in a Bulls uniform, as he joined the team ahead of the 2021-22 regular season; however, he continues to be one of the best players, using his elite mid-range shooting skills to keep Chicago in constant contention of every game. DeRozan’s first season with the Bulls resulted in a playoff birth, as he averaged roughly 28 points, five assists, and five rebounds per game. If he finishes his career in Chicago, he will likely skyrocket up this list.
#22 Norm Van Lier
Nicknamed “The Storm,” Norm Van Lier was such a great player for the Bulls in the 70s. Playing the point guard position, Van Lier was a true floor general. Averaging over seven assists per game his entire career, Van Lier was one of the most gifted passers of his era, helping the likes of Sloan and Walker get easy shots and the offense flow efficiently.
#23 Kirk Hinrich
Kirk Hinrich was the quintessential floor general at the point guard position. Hinrich could shoot with the best of them, dish out crisp passes, and score at the basket with ease. His infamous glasses and calm demeanor attracted fans. Hinrich and Deng are some of the most familiar faces of the 2000s-era Bulls.
#24 Luol Deng
Luol Deng was the consistent defensive presence for the Bulls. A fan-favorite, Luol Deng was a workhorse on the court, often guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player while also playing a huge role in the offense. Deng’s name was synonymous with making the right play at the right time.
#25 Bob Boozer
“Bullet Bob” was a strong presence in the 60s-era Bulls. Joining the team in the latter stages of his career, Boozer had finally reached his potential as a player. As a power forward, Boozer averaged 20+ points per game on nearly 50% shooting from the field. His smooth jump shot and beautiful footwork were something to behold and kept fans gravitating towards the star during an otherwise slow period for the newly founded Bulls.
#26 Ben Gordon
Ben Gordon was such an underrated player for the Bulls. In five seasons with the Bulls, Gordon only missed 14 games. In three seasons with the Bulls, he played the entire 82 games. Gordon was one of the most lethal shooters in the NBA and perfectly complemented Kirk Hinrich as a shooting guard. Ben Gordon was the best player on the Bulls during the mid-2000s and, because of that, is high on this list.
#27 Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley had a legendary career with the New York Knicks, but it is forgotten that he played with the Bulls early in his career. However, some of his best seasons came with the Bulls. With the Bulls, Oakley was a monster on the boards, collecting nearly ten a game. He brought a mean, physical presence to the team and helped to set the tone for Michael Jordan’s run with the Bulls.
#28 Guy Rodgers
Guy Rodgers, 4-time All-Star and Hall-of-Famer, had a short but great career with the Chicago Bulls. Averaging 18 points and 11 assists per game in the 1966-67 season, Rodgers straight-up dominated opposing guards. Arguably, the Bulls haven’t had a plethora of great point guards. Rodgers’ dominant couple of seasons gave the Bulls one of their best point guards in team history.
#29 Tom Boerwinkle
Tom Boerwinkle played his entire career with the Chicago Bulls. A towering center, Tom was an elite rebounder, averaging over 11 true rebounds per game. However, Tom was one of the few big men who could create plays and control the possession. While it is more common in today’s modern NBA, Tom was one of the first big men averaging over four assists per game.
#30 Elton Brand
Elton Brand played the first two years of his hall-of-fame career with the Chicago Bulls. Here, he averaged over 20 points per game while shooting nearly 50% from the field. While Brand played during some of the Bull’s darkest seasons, he was not at fault. In fact, his presence kept the team from losing even more games.
#31 Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol is one of the greatest European big men to play in the NBA. A big man with finesse, elite footwork, playmaking, and shooting ability, Pau Gasol was a star for every team he played with. While only playing two seasons with the Bulls, Gasol cemented his legacy by being a major presence in the team’s 2014-2015 playoff success.
#32 Carlos Boozer
Two-time All-Star and All-NBA player Carlos Boozer had a phenomenal season. After a long stretch with the Utah Jazz, Boozer was embraced by Bulls fans. As a power forward, Boozer carried the Derrick Rose-led Bulls in the paint. With great footwork and a bevy of finesse moves, Boozer always found opportunities to score. A great rebounder as well, particularly offensively, Boozer eased the burden on Rose to carry the offense.
#33 Orlando Woolridge
Orlando Woolridge had a great NBA career, and it’s a shame he didn’t make any all-star appearances. The small forward from Notre Dame, Woolridge, lived up to his Bull’s hype after they drafted him 6th overall. In his peak with the Bulls, Woolridge was a 20+ point scorer who shot over 50% from the field.
#34 Mickey Johnson
Mickey Johnson had a successful NBA career. While having a slow start with the Bulls in his rookie season, Johnson quickly improved, averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game. Johnson was a fan favorite for his steady, cool presence on the court and the effortless way he played the game.
#35 Taj Gibson
Taj Gibson was a tough role player and leader for the Derrick Rose-era Bulls. Playing a traditional power forward role, Gibson could score with ease and occasionally stretch the floor. Gibson always played with a competitive spirit, never backing down from a defensive challenge. His leadership skills were great, as his no-nonsense approach kept the team focused on their goal.
#36 Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford is the greatest sixth man of all time, although Lou Williams might have something to say about this. Crawford was a streaky shooter, no doubt, but when he was on, he was on. It drove coaches nuts because in one game, he would shoot 1-10, but the next night, he would shoot 11-12. However, those 11-12 games came at crucial times and gave the Bulls a lot of key victories.
#37 Eddie Curry
Overall, Eddy Curry had a disappointing career. Drafted number four overall in the 2001 draft, Curry was expected to become the next dominant big man. However, he fell short of this accomplishment and was out of the league by age 30. Curry did impress by shooting .585 percent from the field in the 02’-03 season with the Bulls. He also averaged roughly 14 points per game during his four-year career with the Bulls. For that reason, he makes this list.
#38 Clem Haskins
Combo guard Clem Haskins had a great career in the NBA. A 20-point scorer with the Bulls, Haskins helped the late ’60s Bulls stay in playoff contention. I appreciated his willingness to play a large amount of minutes. In his third season with the Bulls, Haskins played a full 82 games at 39.2 minutes per game. Haskins always showed up to play and gave it his all.
#39 Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose had a fantastic career in the NBA. A score-first combo guard, Jalen Rose knew how to get his own buckets. Rose joined the Bulls in the 01-02,’ and while only playing a full season with the Bulls, Rose averaged 22 points and four assists per game. Another casualty of the dark post-Michael Jordan Bulls era, Rose should still be celebrated for his one great season with the Bulls.
#40 Metta World Peace
Bad-boy Metta World Peace started his career with the Chicago Bulls. Here, he was arguably at his best defensively. Known for his physical, hustle-oriented playstyle, Peace never backed down from a challenge. Peace would make some of the league’s best offensive players look silly with his relentless defense and constant steals.
#41 Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade is a Miami Heat legend. However, he did play a season with the Chicago Bulls, and for that reason, he has to make it on this list. Wade is simply that much of a legend. Wade contributed to the Bulls by averaging 18 points per game and four assists. While they didn’t have any playoff success, Wade was not the problem.
#42 Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen was not welcomed by Bulls fans on draft night. Scared that he would become another European bust, Bulls fans preferred the safer Dennis Smith Jr. However, Dennis Smith Jr. is a borderline bust, while Markkanen is an upcoming developing power forward. Markkanen shows great shooting potential while growing as an interior defender. Markkanen’s development is on pace for a great career with the Bulls.
#43 Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler is a great representative of the NBA. A natural leader, Chandler contributed immensely to building a great locker room culture in Chicago during the mid-2000s. A spot starter, Chandler played within his role as a big man who could come in and get boards while playing hard-nosed defense. Chandler adds to the list of hardworking Bulls.
#44 Dave Greenwood
Dave Greenwood played for the Bulls during a tough era for Eastern Conference Teams. The 76ers and Celtics were the top of the East, with quality teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, and Atlanta Hawks not too far behind. While the Bulls struggled during this era, Greenwood gave the Bulls a sturdy, efficient power forward for many years.
#45 Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson was one of the most feisty smaller guards in the NBA. At 5’9’’, Robinson played with a huge chip on his shoulder. He was always on the ground fighting for loose balls and was not afraid to attack the basket against 7-footers. Despite his height, Robinson was a great dunker who won crowds over with his high-flying maneuvers. Robinson had the heart and spirit eerily similar to many former Bulls.
#46 Nikola Mirotic
Nikola Mirotic had a productive career as a stretch four. The Eastern European was a streaky shooter known for his ability to come off the bench and make five jumpers straight. Besides his shooting, Mirotic was an impressive playmaker, dishing out dimes when opposing defenders overcommitted. Overall, Mirotic played a key role in the Bull’s most recent playoff run.
#47 Ben Wallace
We all know the kind of player Ben Wallace was with the Detroit Pistons. However, NBA fans forget that he had a huge role in the Chicago Bulls 07’ playoff run. A stalwart on defense his entire career, Wallace brought an interior presence the Hinrich and Deng-led Bulls were missing. Averaging 1.5 blocks during his career with the Bulls, Wallace made a huge impact in making them one of the league’s best defenses.
#48 Fred Hoiberg
Coming to the Bulls organization at the turn of the century, Hoiberg was the next great three-point shooter for the Bulls. Shooting a high percentage from the free-throw line and downtown, Hoiberg performed his role for the team. Without Hoiberg’s spark, the Bulls would have been worse than what they were post-Michael Jordan.
#49 Wilbur Holland
Wilbur Holland only played four total NBA seasons, three with the Bulls, but was great during his time in the NBA. As a shooting guard, Holland impressed with a career average of 14 points per game on 45% from the field. While the Bulls struggled to find an identity, Holland played within his role as an efficient combo guard.
#50 Brad Miller
Brad Miller had two stints with the Bulls, one in the early 2000s and one at the end of the same decade. A backup center, Brad Miller provided stability to the consistently weak Bull’s center position. With great interior post players across the NBA, Miller’s ability to play physical defense was key for the Bull’s defense.
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