Which Teams Have Chicago Bulls Traded With Most Frequently?

Which Teams Have Chicago Bulls Traded With Most Frequently?
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Many NBA observers believe that the recent draft has produced a so-called “generational” No. 1 selection in center Victor Wembanyama, chosen by the San Antonio Spurs.

Of course, the Chicago Bulls might have made the all-time generational pick with Michael Jordan in 1984. However, as extraordinary as that draft selection was, Chicago also did itself some good with some canny trades through the years.

Now that the 2023 NBA Draft has gone by and with the free agency period coming, IllinoisBet.com – your home for the best Illinois sports betting promos – took a look at the teams that the Chicago Bulls have traded with most frequently in franchise history. 

Using Basketball-Reference.com, we gathered the number of trades made between the Bulls and another team – as well as highlighting the most successful acquisition of the team’s trade history between the two teams. 

We deem the player who had the most “win shares” while he was with the Bulls as the best player acquired in a trade from a particular team. Basketball-Reference.com says that a win share is “a player statistic which attempts to divvy up credit for team success to the individuals on the team.”

Most Frequent Trade Partners With Chicago Bulls

Rank, Team No. of Trades Best Acquisition for Bulls
1. Oklahoma City Thunder* 13 Scottie Pippen (1987)
2. Portland Trail Blazers 11 Mickey Johnson (1974)
T3. Sacramento Kings+ 10 Norman Van Lier (1971)
T3. Houston Rockets 10 Adrian Griffin (2004)
T3. Cleveland Cavaliers 10 Charles Oakley (1985)
T3. San Antonio Spurs 10 Dennis Rodman (1995)
T3. Golden State Warriors 10 Guy Rodgers (1966)

Note: *Includes franchise’s time as the Seattle SuperSonics (1967-2008). +Includes franchise’s time as the Cincinnati Royals (1958-72).

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All-Time Bulls Great Came Via Trade

The team that the Bulls have traded with most often is the Oklahoma City Thunder, including that franchise’s time in Seattle as the SuperSonics. Those two teams had players swap jerseys 13 times.

Next on the list of frequent trade partners for the Bulls has been the Portland Trail Blazers, who have been involved in 11 trades with Chicago.

After that, five teams are tied for third on our list: The Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Goden State Warriors.

This year’s Bulls have +12500 odds with Caesars Sportsbook Illinois to win the NBA title in 2024.

In all those deals with the franchise that is now the Thunder, the best acquisition was nabbed by the Bulls when their trade partner was still playing in Seattle. That turned out be Scottie Pippen, a longtime teammate of Jordan on the championship-winning teams of the 1990s.

Pippen never suited up for Seattle. The Bulls managed to acquire the No. 5 overall pick in exchange for their first-round choice, Olden Polynice (the No. 8 overall) and future draft pick options.

In 12 seasons with the Bulls (from 1987-88 to 1997-98, and again 2003-04), Pippen averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.7 rebounds, plus was a consistent a defensive standout. Considered one of the best small forwards of all-time, Pippen was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Other Frequent Bulls Trading Partners

Along with Pippen, the Bulls – in their deals with most frequent trade partners – acquired several other players who had terrific stints in the Windy City.

In the middle of the 1971-72 season, Norm Van Lier arrived from the Cincinnati Royals (now Sacramento). Oddly, the Bulls had traded Van Lier to the Royals in 1969. After Chicago reacquired him, Van Lier was a three-time All-Star for the Bulls.

In 1995, the Bulls swung a trade with San Antonio for Dennis Rodman. In his three seasons with the Bulls, Rodman was a terror on the backboards, averaging 15.3 rebounds a game.

Charles Oakley’s long NBA career started when his draft rights were traded to Chicago by Cleveland in 1985. He spent three solid seasons in Chicago before a 10-year run with the New York Knicks.

The durable Mickey Johnson, a Chicago native, came to the Bulls in a draft trade from Portland in 1974. His five seasons with Chicago yielded a 15.5-point scoring average and 8.4 rebounds a game.

Point guard Guy Rodgers was toward the end of his career when Chicago landed him in a trade with the Warriors. But in his one full season with the Bulls (1966-67), Rodgers averaged 18 points and league-high 11.2 assists.

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Bill Ordine covers state gambling issues for IllinoisBet.com. He was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years.

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