I was recently thinking about why it took so long to rebuild since the departure of Michael Jordan. Since 1999, the Chicago Bulls have had their share of lottery picks. They've had two #1s, two #2s, a 3, two #4s, two 7s and a 9. Of those picks, only Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah remain on the team. You'd think with 10 picks that high, they'd have been able to rebuild quicker.
Drafting is tough. But some teams do a much better job than others. And there's some luck involved in the quality of the draft. Let's quickly take a look at guys passed on by the Bulls. Instead they took Marcus Fizer (#4), Eddie Curry (#4), LaMarcus Aldridge (#2) and traded for Tyrus Thomas on draft day.
In 2000, they have a 4 and a 7 and take Marcus Fizer and Chris Mihm (trading him for Jamal Crawford). Ugh. Just passing on Joel Pryzbilla, Hedo Turkoglu and Mike Miller.
In 2001, they missed out on Shane Battier, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Tony Parker. Instead they do their Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler rebuilding strategy.
In 2002, they had the Jay Williams tragedy, so there's a pass. Amare was taken #9 though.
In 2003, they just got hosed with the 7th pick. Ahead of Kirk Hinrich, you had Lebron, Carmelo, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Then 3 of those fuckers decided to play together.
In 2005 they have no pick (which is ok, since it turned into Luol Deng in 2004) and miss out on the Chris Paul and Deron Williams lottery.
In 2006, they have the #2 pick and inexplicably flip LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas and miss out on Rudy Gay, Brandon Roy and J.J. Redick.
I'm too lazy to research this, but something happened between the 2006 and 2007 draft. The Bulls went from completely screwing up each and every pick to doing something right. What was it?
In 2007, they start to figure things out, stealing Joakim Noah at #9. There was talk the previous year, had Noah come out, he might have been a top 3 pick.
In 2008, the luck out on the #1 and obviously take Derrick Rose. There was talk about Beasley, but even the Bulls couldn't screw that one up.
In 2009, they do a great job of getting Taj Gibson at 26.