Previous Drafts


Useful links


Home Page
Chicago Bulls Bulls GM, Dave Anderson submitted his pick and told me that the report would be ready by Monday.  Monday two weeks ago.  My first reaction is call Mr. Anderson a bunch of very bad names, but I did that once a few years ago and the guy threatened to sue me.  So I won't do that again. Jamie Resin was kind enough to do the report.  Thanks Jamie!

Mickael Pietrus, SG, 6'6" Pau Ortiz (France)

I. Season Overview

The Bulls rebuilding plan showed signs that it was about to turn the corner. Although the team still has some unsettled spots, the development of young big men Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry gave Bulls fans hope that happy days may yet return to the Windy City. Following a 21-61 season in 2001-02 (aka year #4 of the rebuilding process) the Bulls decided to try a bold move – trading Ron Artest, Ron Mercer, Brad Miller and Kevin Ollie to the Pacers in exchange for Jalen Rose, Travis Best, and Norm Richardson. The deal served a number of purposes – 1) gave the Bulls a go-to guy in Jalen Rose, 2) enabled Eddy Curry to step into the starting line-up, and 3) demonstrated to Bulls fans that they were not content with the status quo- an eternal rebuilding program. The question of who got the better of the deal is debatable, but the addition of the highly competitive, veteran Rose and the statement it made to players and fans, was an important step for the Bulls.

The Bulls season ended with a 30-52 record and were dramatically more competitive under Coach Bill Cartwright than they had been under Tim Floyd, Jerry Krause's old fishing buddy. Despite the steps in the right direction, the optimism created during the off-season was followed with disappointment, when Jay Williams suffered serious injuries to his leg and pelvis in a motorcycle accident. He will miss the 2003-04 season, at a minimum.

The Jerry Krause era also came to an end, as Jabba the Hutt called it a career, leaving the rebuilding effort in the hands of John Paxson, former Bulls guard, and rookie GM. Paxson will have his opportunity to put his imprint on the young Bulls roster, starting with the 2003 NBA draft.

II. Draft History (Displayed are first round picks over the last 10 years.)

  • 2002: Jay Williams (Duke University, 2nd pick)
  • 2001:Eddy Curry (Thornwood HS.), 4th pick (Elton Brand was traded for the Number two pick in the draft which turned out to be Tyson Chandler another Highschooler)
  • 2000: Marcus Fizer (Iowa State), 4th pick, Dalibor Bagaric (Europe), 24th pick
  • 1999: Elton Brand (Duke), 1st pick; Ron Artest (St. John's)
  • 1998: Corey Benjamin (Oregon State), 28th pick
  • 1997: Keith Booth (Maryland), 28th pick
  • 1996: Travis Knight (UConn), 29th pick
  • 1995: Jason Caffey (Alabama), 20th pick
  • 1994: Dickey Simpkins (Providence), 21st pick
  • 1993: Corie Blount (Cincinnati), 25th pick

III. Management and Coaching

Jerry "Players don't win championships, organizations win championships!" Krause's time in Chicago has come to an end.  Any credit he received for putting the Jordan/Pippen Bulls together seems to have been forgotten and overshadowed by the misery he inflicted on the city of Chicago in the 5 years since.  John Paxson starts with a clean slate, and brings a new, kindler, gentler attitude.  Bulls fans hope that translates into an ability to attract free agents, many of whom seemed turned off by Krause's arrogance and parsimony in recent years.

Bill Cartwright earned the respect of Bulls players by instilling a no-nonsense attitude.  He demonstrated patience, persistence, and a positive attitude, which should ultimately pay dividends.

IV. Players


Eddy Curry- In his 2nd year, Curry showed great progress and demonstrated that he has the ability to be the top center in the Eastern Conference (although that’s not saying much). Cartwright seemed to light a fire under him and saw his numbers improve from 6.7/3.7 to 10.5/4.3 in his sophomore season, shooting 58.5% from the field.. Those numbers didn’t tell the whole story, however. He scored in double figures in 20 of the Bulls last 22 games, capping the year with a 31 point performance in the finale, a win vs. the Sixers. He only reached double figures in rebounds 6 times all season, however, and will have to show more aggression under the boards.

Dalibor Bagaric- This guy is a scrub who takes up space.

Power Forward:

Tyson Chandler – Like Curry, Chandler’s second year was also an improvement over his rookie campaign. His numbers jumped from 6.1/4.8 to 9.2/6.9, but his season was cut short by, of all things, and esophagus injury. He is extremely athletic, a skilled shot-blocker and rebounder, and should blossom in his third campaign.

Donyell Marshall – Marshall gave the Bulls 53 starts in 2002-03, at both forward positions and occasionally at center, averaging 13.4 and a team-leading 9.0 rpg. He provides good frontcourt depth. If Curry and Chandler emerge as the Bulls expect in 2003-04, Marshall should start fewer games, but should be a solid reserve.

Lonny Baxter - Acquired in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft (#44 overall), Baxter played in 55 games and showed some ability to play well in limited minutes.  At 6-8, he is on the small side for a power forward, but his 260 lb. frame takes up space, and he has some game in the paint. 

Corie Blount - Somehow, this guy has managed to be in the league for 10 seasons.  Was drafted by the Bulls in 1993, and has played for 7 teams since.  Works on D and hits the boards, but will never be a meaningful contributor.

Small Forward:

Jalen Rose - Took his role as the go-to guy to heart, starting all 82 games, and averaging over 40 minutes per.  Wasn't afraid to take the big shot.. the small shot... or any other shot.  Hurt himself by falling in love with the 3 pt. shot, hitting 37%, and dragging down his overall FG% to 41%.  But, he scored 22 ppg, and added 4.8 assists and 4.3 rbs.  He will remain the team's go-to scorer, although it would be preferable if Curry and Chandler could develop into more reliable scorers themselves, taking some pressure off of Rose.

Marcus Fizer - Not large enough to play power forward, not quick enough at the 3 spot, Fizer is the classic tweener.  In his 3rd season, Fizer was showing improvement, until his season was cut short by an interior cruciate tear.  He can be an effective scorer against certain opponents, when matchups are favorable.  He has one year left on his rookie contract.  His status for the upcoming season is unclear.  If he returns to form, he can be a valuable reserve, but is not a front-line forward.

Eddie Robinson - Robinson was signed as a free agent, when other options failed.  He was expected to bring great scoring ability and athleticism, after signing a 6-year, $31mm contract.  Instead, he showed inconsistency, minimal effort on the defensive end, and gave his best effort in warm ups.  The Bulls would be glad to find a taker for Robinson's hefty contract, but that seems unlikely.  They will have to hope that he gains maturity and his athletic ability enables him to blossom into a solid contributor. 

Shooting Guard:

Trenton Hassel - That Hassel is the best 2-guard on the team reflects the fact that the Bulls has a tremendous deficit at this position.   The Bulls often were forced to play Rose, a forward, or Crawford, a point, at the off-guard position.  Hassel started 53 games, but regressed from his surprising rookie season in every meaningful statistical category.

Fred Hoiberg - "The Mayor" is a free agent.  Can shoot the ball, coming off the bench, but is no Steve Kerr.  Might stay, might leave... doesn't much matter.

Point Guard

Jamal Crawford - Career has been riddled by injuries and flashes of brilliance.  Feuded with Coach Floyd but seemed to get his act together under Cartwright.  The addition of Jay Williams seemed to light a fire under Crawford, who averaged 10.7 ppg and 4.2 apg, both career bests.  The Bulls were entertaining trade offers for Crawford until Williams' injury.  Now, they'll have to change course and put the team in Crawford's hands.  He improved dramatically at the end of the season, scoring 19+ in each of the team's final 6 games, when they went 4-2.

Jay Williams - Williams had an up and down year, which was somewhat disappointing for the #2 pick in the draft.  Seemingly out of sorts in the triangle offense, Williams was handed the reins to the team and wasn't sure what to do with them.  He spent much of the season complaining about his role, taking about being traded, and redefining the team "the rookie wall."  He is tremendously talented and was expected to come back with a better sophomore showing... until a broken leg and pelvic bone in an offseason motorcycle accident ended his hope of coming back in 2003-04... and perhaps even longer.

Rick Brunson - Journeyman point is a free agent, and is unlikely to return

Roger Mason -  Combo guard was a 2nd round pick in 2002.  Missed much of the season with injury.  Has some ability to shoot the ball.  Will hope to get a chance to prove it as a reserve.

V. Team Needs and Possible Offseason Moves

The loss of Jay Williams for the upcoming season and maybe longer changes the plans for the Bulls in the offseaon.  Instead of considering dealing Crawford (or Williams) for a veteran 2-guard, the Bulls will have no choice but to hang on to Crawford.  Nevertheless, an experienced back up at the point would be a welcome addition.  They will have to fill the 2-guard slot, whether by free agent or through the draft.  They are dreadful outside shooters, which will be a critical area for improvement, to balance the inside game which Curry and Chandler can provide.  It is extraordinarily unlikely that the Bulls could get a Reggie Miller or Gary Payton to join as veteran guards.  Neither would have the inclination to help mentor a young team, but either would be a great addition in the backcourt.  A backup center would also be a good addition, whether in free agency or the 2nd round of the draft.

VI. My selection

With the 2nd pick in the 2002 Usenet Mock NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls select: 

Mickael Pietrus, SG, 6'6" Pau Ortiz (France)

As this report has detailed, the Bulls dramatically need help at the 2-guard, and this French swingman appears to have the most upside of anyone available.  He is an extraordinary athlete, is very competitive, and known as an excellent defender on the perimeter.  He is known as a great finisher in transition, and a creative scorer.  He is not a great long-range shooter, but shows the fundamentals and ability to improve in that phase.  Considered the French Jordan.  I'm not going to go that far, but... seems like poetic justic to me.

VII. Other Players Considered

Dwayne Wade - Extremely athletic combo guard. A tweener, but very explosive, solid wing defender, excellent rebounder for his size. Drives the lane like a madman, but his shooting range is suspect. Lack of size could create matchup problems on D, and lack of pure ball handling ability makes the ability to handle the point questionable. Bulls already have one "tweener" type in Crawford.  Not interested in pairing him with another one.

Jarvis Hayes - Excellent scorer, if not a great long-range shooter Great ability to get open and get shots off in college, but will be challenged in the NBA, as Hayes does not thrive putting the ball on the floor. Not adept at sharing the ball.  May make a more immediate impact than Pietrus, but without as much long-term upside.

VIII. Likely Selection - If the opportunity presents itself, I would not be surprised to see the Bulls deal to move out of this position.  This draft has a large drop off before the #7 spot, and the Bulls could be well served to move down to enable another team to select Maclej Lampe or Kirk Hinrich.  If they can move down 5-8 slots, pick up a player, or dump a salary (such as Eddie Robinson's) and still find Hayes on the board at a lower slot, that could be the best of all worlds for the Bulls.  We'll see if Paxson shows that type of savvy in his first year in the driver's seat.