Stole the idea from realgm, but it got me to thinking, what's the worst team you can put together for the Chicago Bulls?
Rules, your total team salary must equal at least 60 million. You must have a combined total of at least 410 starts on the roster. Every player must played in at least 20 games. Players who are traded mid season only get pro-rated salary credit by the amount of time they played for the Bulls.
Not every player on this list is bad, some just had particularly bad seasons. There are worse players I didn't include either due to a lack of playing time, a lack of expectations, or a lack of salary, I didn't want to just pick on the Krause Bulls the entire time either.
C: Ben Wallace
07/08 edition, $9,451,219 (the rest paid by Cleveland) (50 starts)
Ben Wallace was the ultimate destroyer of team chemistry. He lazed about, refused to front the post, and really broke a team built on unity, hard work and trust with his lousy attitude. He had lost all his skills at this point and failed to defend or rebound at a useful rate while his offense was even more pathetic than the pathetic level it had been in the past.
Yet the Bulls kept trotting him out there. I complained about his play over Joakim Noah the entire season, but he kept on getting looks until we finally dumped him for the equally reprehensible Larry Hughes.
PF: Tyson Chandler
05/06 edition, $9,000,000 (50 starts)
Tyson Chandler was someone Bulls fans had such huge hopes for going into this season. He was coming off a monster defensive season in which he was part of our core group and a big influence in our success. Then he curled up into a shell and died. He forgot how to catch a basketball, was flubbing dunks, and his defense went to crap. This was highlighted by an embarrassing playoff series against Miami where Mike Sweetney basically replaced him.
SF: Ron Mercer
01/02 edition, $3,292,682 (rest paid by Indy), 40 starts
Ron Mercer wasn't put into a fair role really, it's like trying to make James Johnson the #1 option on the Bulls this year. That said, the guy had a TS% of 44% which is shockingly bad for a #1 option on a team (hence the reason we sucked so darn bad) and was paid star money at the time (which Johnson is clearly not). He was traded mid season, so we at least weren't forced to watch him much longer.
SG: Jalen Rose
02/03 edition - $12,072,500 (82 starts)
It's tempting to go with the 03/4 version, since that one completely quit on the team and destoryed it in order to get traded, but while more rephrensible, we'd only get 16 starts and around 2.8 million in salary out of him. The 02/03 Jalen Rose at least sort of cared, but he was simply no where near as good as we expect. His $12 million in salary doesn't seem nearly so bad today, but at the time it represented a max deal and was fairly outrageous as the salary cap was only 40 million.
PG: Kirk Hinrich
07/08 edition ($11,250,000) (72 starts)
I'm a fan of Kirk Hinrich's Bulls tenure overall, but he combined one of his worst seasons with one of his highest salaries. You could almost throw anyone on the 07/08 team here (in fact, we do also throw Wallace/Hughes), but Gordon/Deng didn't decline quite as much and weren't on their extensions yet. Kirk helps us build up our starts and total salary nicely to meet my requirements. Like the whole team, he quit on the season fairly early, forgot how to play defense, shoot, and pass. The sucking this year was a team effort, but Kirk and Wallace were paid the most.
There are worse PGs out there, but none who had the combination of failed expectations, high salary, and high playing time.
Total starting lineup $45,066,401, 294 starts
SG: Larry Hughes
07/08 edition - $4,097,589 (rest paid by Cleveland) (28 starts)
Larry Hughes is who Larry Hughes is. He's a cancerous, overpaid, shot chucker. It's not really entirely the Bulls fault here as they were really just dumping Ben Wallace, but he still needs a spot on the roster.
PF: Charles Oakley
01/02 edition - $6,545,000 (36 starts) [replaced Perdue after commentor suggestion]
Oakley had a PER of 6.6, a TS% of 39.2%, and had the gaul to complain about minutes, his role, and everyone around him. The guy was a chemistry killer while brought in to be a mentor, and couldn't manage to do anything positive whatsoever while being the second highest paid player on the team. The Oak tree was a complete train wreck in his second ture here.
PF: Dickie Simpkins
99/00 edition, $1,500,000, 48 starts
Like Perdue, Simpkins salary looks lower than it appears. This team is kind of a patchwork of crap that was put together to suck, so it's not entirely fair to pick on it. Still, I filled the financial requirements and need starts, and Dickie started 48 games with a PER of 5.5, that might be some kind of record for badness per start.
PG: Bryce Drew
00/01 edition, $1,182,600, 41 starts
It's the only season of his career where Bryce Drew got significant burn, and after watching it you can tell why. He had a TS% that was a complete trash at 45%, but he fills out the backup PG role on this team, the only team he's filled out a back up role nicely for.
SF: Eddie Robinson
02/03 edition - $5,687,000 (18 starts)
Robinson is in the running with Ben Wallace as the worst signing ever made by the organization. He missed more time in other seasons, but he played in 67 games this year at his second worst career PER at 11.5. The sad thing about Robinson is that there are no years where he contributed enough to really pick on him and get lots of starts despite the fact that we paid him huge money to come in here.
G: Trenton Hassell
02/03 edition, $512,435, 53 starts
Kind of unfair to pick on Hassell who was a second round pick and in way over his head. Unlike Mercer, he wasn't paid huge money, he just had a large role because there was no one else on the team even as good as he was. That said, how Hassell started 53 games with a TS% of 41% is somewhat of a train wreck.
Roster fodder: Dalibar Bagaric/Dragon Tarlac C
I'm not going to bother looking up their salaries or starts, it's not worth the effort for either guy, pick any year, these two were guys we were hoping for some Krausian sleuthing magic on and ended up with just pure crap on a stick. Neither ever played much because neither was ever worth playing, but I'm way over the financial and start requirements, so I'll just give them a shout out.
There are a lot of other guys in the 99-03 era that you could put on this team because they were forced into roles over their head. I tried to mainly pick guys we paid big money to or had high hopes for. I sort of weasled out on a couple guys like Perdue and Hassell though.
For the most part though, these were guys who had high expectations, completely failed to deliver, and don't evoke fond memories (perhaps Kirk Hinrich the exception there as that one season was more of an anomaly for him in regards to just how bad he was).
Andres Nocioni 08/09 version probably deserves a spot somewhere on this list for constantly complaining about how selfish everyone on the team is while having the lowest assist rate of any regular player outside of Tyrus Thomas. Selfishness, apparently, only exists when players don't pass to you. Combine that with his poor defense, and he's a suspect. However, he did bring shooting and the saddest exit interview I've ever heard by a traded player, so I'll cut him a little slack.