- Here’s a list of the biggest Chicago Bulls trades in franchise history.
- Scottie Pippen leads the list of players Chicago received through trade.
- Other notable players the Bulls received were Bill Cartwright, Bob Love, and Dennis Rodman.
One of the winningest teams in NBA history is the Chicago Bulls with six championships. These titles came during their 1990s run when they dominated the basketball odds by completing two three-peats from 1991 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998. Thanks to their eye for talent, they were able to draft his “Airness,” Michael Jordan, and he led them to the promised land multiple times.
But selecting great players through the draft was just one element to the team’s success, as they also showed an impressive ability to acquire talented players via trade. Chicago’s front office maximized its opportunity to assemble the best possible roster that put them in a position to win. Who among the trades in franchise history are the biggest? Here’s a top-four list.
When Chicago drafted Michael Jordan in 1984, they instantly had championship aspirations. Jordan, however, couldn’t lift the team past the first round of the playoffs in his first three seasons. This prompted the team to look for additional help, and that help came during the 1987 NBA Draft when they traded Olden Polynice and two future draft picks to the Seattle SuperSonics for Scottie Pippen and a first-round pick.
Happy Birthday, @ScottiePippen! 🥳
Enjoy these rare Scottie highlights: pic.twitter.com/BkDGfNpTr8
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 25, 2022
Pippen was the perfect complement to Jordan’s game, leading to six NBA titles. “Pip” made it to seven All-Star Games and became a member of the All-NBA 1st Team three times. Pippen played in 865 games for the Bulls and averaged 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
Another key player to the first Chicago three-peat is Bill Cartwright, who was acquired by the Bulls via a trade with New York in 1988. Aside from the one-to-one player switch, the Bulls and Knicks also swapped their first-round and third-round draft picks. The 7-foot-1 big man became the starting center for the team and anchored the paint.
Although his production steadily decreased when he arrived in Chicago, Cartwright made his presence felt on the defensive end and scored points when needed. He played 397 games for the Bulls across six seasons and posted career numbers of 9.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. The former third-overall pick finished his career with Seattle in 1995.
In 1969, Chicago brought a dynamic scoring forward to the team when they received Bob Love from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Flynn Robinson. Along with Love, the Bulls also acquired Bob Weiss from the deal. “Butterbean” flourished with the team and displayed his potent offense to help them contend in the Eastern Conference.
Happy Birthday to Bulls legend, Bob Love! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/czwpOXx0VU
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 8, 2020
Love spearheaded Chicago’s playoff run seven times, averaging a career-best number of 21.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 592 games. He was also selected to three NBA All-Star selections (1971 to 1973) and became a two-time member of the All-NBA 2nd Team in 1971 and 1972. Because of this legendary career with the Bulls, they retired his number in January 1994.
After Cartwright’s departure and Jordan’s return from his basketball hiatus, Chicago needed another big man to provide intensity and defensive prowess, and Dennis Rodman fit the bill. In 1995, the Bulls agreed with San Antonio to acquire Rodman for Will Perdue. Prior to his arrival, the “Worm” was part of the Bad Boy Pistons that eliminated Jordan and the Bulls twice in the playoffs during the 1980s.
Rodman seamlessly supplemented the duo of Jordan and Pippen with his grit and hustle. His three-year stay with Chicago ultimately resulted in a three-peat, as he averaged 5.2 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. When the Bulls dynasty ended in 1998, Rodman played for two more seasons before retiring.
Chicago Bulls Biggest Trades
|Player Acquired||Trade Details||Year|
|Scottie Pippen||Bulls received: Scottie Pippen and a first-round pick / SuperSonics received: Olden Polynice, one first-round pick, and one second-round pick||1987|
|Bill Cartwright||Bulls received: Bill Cartwright and two draft picks / Knicks received: Charles Oakley and two draft picks||1988|
|Bob Love||Bulls received: Bob Love and Bob Weiss / Bucks received: Flynn Robinson||1969|
|Dennis Rodman||Bulls received: Dennis Rodman / Spurs received: Will Perdue||1995|
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