I originally was going to mention this article on SI.com because the author., Chris Mannix, predicts Ben Gordon to win Rookie of the Year. I never even thought of it to be honest, but if you factor in how much of a....factor ("allow myself to introduce....myself") he needs to be on offense, then he has a very good shot. But instead of pointing out the possible ROY credentials Gordon can accumulate, Mannix uses this space to comment on this year's draft:
Not quite as sexy as last season's Lebrellopalooza is it? Teams entered the draft calling it a crap shoot and sure enough wound up going home with crap. After the first 10 picks I was waiting to see if any of the remaining 19 GMs had the chutzpa to hand David Stern a card with the worst four letter word he could ever step to the podium and say: P-A-S-S. I think the Bulls had the right idea in '96 when they drafted Travis Knight with the last pick in the first round and promptly renounced him. You think Jerry Krause stays up nights regretting that decision?
That Travis Knight pick brings me back to the days when Bulls' first round picks were inconsequential. Just look at the stiffs you can get when you're drafting last. But the important thing was that it didn't matter. Knight and Simpkins? Who cares if they stink. Now when you're spending lottery picks on Marcus Fizer and Jamal Crawford...well all of a sudden you're really setting the franchise back if you make a mistake.
Nothing mattered in time of the dynasty years though, the team was set and they were winning championships. There wasn't even a salary cap to worry about, while Reinsdorf was 'disrespecting' MJ with $30m contracts.
Chicagoans actually used to say they were *bored* with winning all the time. How bored? I remember a week in 1998 when the Bulls traded one of those famed draft picks, Jason Caffey, to the Warriors for David Vaughn. Vaughn played a total of 6 minutes for the team before being released when Krause (re)signed aformentioned stiff Dickey Simpkins, who was dealt away earlier in the year. Local talk shows had callers criticizing Krause for trading away Caffey for essentially nothing. Jason Caffey! Of course Bulls fans knew none of it would make a difference in the playoffs, but you have to come up with something interesting if your team is winning nearly every game.
Those were the days.....