Top 10 teammates of Derrick Rose’s Bulls tenure
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Derrick Rose's eight seasons in Chicago featured plenty of highs, lows and everything in between.
It also featured quite the cast of characters.
While the core pieces of Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng (and later Jimmy Butler) propelled the Bulls to the success they enjoyed in the early 2010s, around the pillars were always a competent stable of supplementary players — players that helped provide the Bulls fanbase with plenty of fond memories.
So, from Rose's rookie campaign to the summer of 2016, here are his top 10 Bulls teammates.
10. Nate Robinson
So, technically Robinson never played with Rose because Robinson’s lone season with the Bulls came in 2012-13, the year that Rose sat out recovering from ACL surgery.
But in that campaign, Robinson provided instant offense off the bench, scoring 13.1 points despite only averaging 25.4 minutes per game. His defining moment came in the postseason when he scored 23 points in the fourth quarter of a triple-OT win over the Nets. That performance alone earns him a spot in Bulls fans’ hearts and on this list.
9. Ben Gordon
Gordon’s Bulls tenure came to an end just as Rose’s was beginning; as Rose’s partner in the backcourt during Rose's rookie season, Gordon led the team in scoring at 20.7 points per game. His 770 3-pointers in a Bulls uniform are still second in franchise history. Gordon also won Sixth Man of the Year in 2004-05 — the only player in NBA history to win the award as a rookie.
8. Kyle Korver
Korver has only spent two of his 17 seasons with the Bulls, but he was a critical member of the original bench mob during Rose’s prime years. Korver made his lone career All-Star game with the Hawks in 2015 and has led the NBA in 3-point percentage in four different seasons. His career 42.9% clip from 3-point range is tenth all-time.
The Bulls traded him to the Hawks in July 2012.
7. Carlos Boozer
Boozer was part of the free agency class of 2010 that also brought Korver to the Bulls. Though he wasn’t as coveted as other free agents bigs that summer like Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire, Boozer was solid during his four-year stint with the Bulls.
Boozer averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds during his time in Chicago, and no fan can forget his love of yelling during games. Seriously, Boozer loved to yell. “Holdat” may be gone, but it will never be forgotten.
6. Kirk Hinrich
Hinrich is a divisive player among Bulls fans. Some believe he was underappreciated, while others believe he’s massively overrated.
No matter where you stand on the Hinrich debate, there is no denying he was a key member of two different Bulls eras. Hinrich took a reserve role after the Bulls drafted Rose, but is still the Bulls franchise leader in 3-pointers made (1,049) and attempted (2,792). He is also top-five in Bulls history in games played, minutes, and steals. He may be “Kurt” to Vinny Del Negro but to Bulls fans he will always be Captain Kirk.
5. Pau Gasol
The Gasol signing may be one of the most underappreciated moves of the John Paxson era. Gasol averaged 17.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game for his Bulls tenure, and was named to the All-NBA second team in the 2014-15 season.
A six-time all-star in his career, Gasol was Rookie of the Year in the 2001-02 season as a member of the Grizzlies. He also won two NBA titles as a member of the Lakers.
4. Taj Gibson
Gibson may be a somewhat biased pick here — he was equally beloved by fans and media during his six-and-a-half seasons in Chicago. And his averages of 9.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a Bull don’t jump off the page.
But numbers don’t show his hustle and willingness to do the little things, which endeared him to the fanbase. Not for nothing, Gibson also executed one of the greatest dunks in team history in the first quarter of Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals against the Heat. A signature moment of the Rose era.
3. Jimmy Butler
Butler may be the most talented teammate Rose ever had. The Tomball, Texas native is a five-time All-Star and he was the NBA’s Most Improved Player after the 2014-15 season.
We never got to see prime Butler and prime Rose together, but the duo was a fearsome combination in the 2014-15 season. Butler’s defensive ability, tireless work ethic, and track record of success make him one of the best players to put on a Bulls uniform in the last 20 seasons.
2. Luol Deng
A member of the 2004 NBA draft class that also brought Ben Gordon to the Bulls, Deng was a two-time all-star during his Bulls tenure. He finished his 10 years with the team ranked top-10 in nearly every major statistical category, including points, rebounds, steals, and 3-pointers made. Deng also led the entire NBA in minutes played twice.
That says a lot about his work ethic, and Tom Thibodeau’s confidence in him.
1. Joakim Noah
Take away the fact that he was the "heart, hustle and muscle" of the team during the Rose era, and Noah is still one of the best players ever to put on a Bulls uniform.
Noah was a two-time All-Star in his Bulls tenure, and, in 2014, earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. His 2013-14 season is one of the best seasons any center has had in NBA history. As Rose said in his book, “I’ll Show You,” he wants his son P.J. to grow up to be like Joakim. An easy choice for the No. 1 spot on this list.