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I have a question for Bulls fans circa 1999-2001 (involves Elton Brand)

TaylorCondrin
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I have a question for Bulls fans circa 1999-2001 (involves Elton Brand)

Here is my question, I was watching the Mavs/Lakers game last night and I started thinking long and hard about Elton Brand...In his rookie season he averaged 20 and 10, he then averaged 20 and 10 again in his 2nd year in the NBA...the Bulls then traded him for the 2nd pick in the 2001 draft (turned out to be Tyson Chandler)...I kept thinking to myself that in 2013 there is a 0% chance that a team would ship off a cornerstone of a franchise for a draft pick...maybe a solid role player (i.e. george hill to the pacers) but a freaking 20 and 10 guy in his 2nd season!!?!?!?! blew my mind trying to comprehend this!

To put it in comparison, this seems to me like it would be very similar if Cleveland were to trade Kyrie Irving to the Magic for the #2 pick and drafting Nerlens Noel

Can anyone please tell me either what YOU personally were thinking about that decision at the time...OR....wtf Chicago was thinking and if there was any logic behind this at all!

Thanks

-Taylor


Moon River
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In Hindsight There is No Excuse

Jerry Krause was the GM at the time and apparently fell in love with Chandler, who was being compared to KG at the time. Krause also had his eye on Eddy Curry, the local kid in the draft, and thought highly of him (referred to him as a Baby Shaq). Krause thought these two young big men would be the new conerstone of the franchise going foward. In hindsight, it was a mistake, but I believe that was the logic at the time.

Another wrinkle was that David Faulk represented Brand at the time (and may still be for all I know) and some bridges were definitely burned between Krause and Falk in the Jordan years. Jordan had a very high disdain for Krause and still does and Faulk had his marching order from Jordan. Even though the Bulls gave Jordan $30M+ per year over the last two years with Chicago.

Time does make some NBA trades look really bad.

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pissed

I was mad at the time, Bulls finally seemed to have a guy who could be a cornerstone for our future and lead us into the post-MJ life. Jerry Krause had other ideas though. This was during the time where high schoolers were viewed as the Great White Buffalo. Everyone wanted to get their hands on the next KG, Kobe, T-Mac, or even Jermaine O'Neil. I thought Tyson had a lot of potential, but Elton was a guaranteed 20 & 10. Tyson has never come close to putting up those numbers ever in his career. Also, to make matters worse the Bulls gave up Tyson so we could sign Ben Wallace to a $60 million contract. (Let that sink in, Ben Wallace= $60 million !!!!!). Tyson ended up blossoming in New Orleans with CP3 and now he's the reigning defensive player of the year. IMO trading Elton for Tyson is one of the worst trades in Bulls history. Thankfully, luck has been kind to the Bulls as we lucked out and won the Derrick Rose sweepstakes, but good god. I don't think we will ever see a team trade away a guy who puts up 20 & 10 in his first 2 years int he NBA to grab the number 2 pick in the draft (unless it's to get someone like Wiggins or Parker next year).

Tyrober
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Was in middle school in 2001

Was in middle school in 2001 so I can't help you with that, but just from reading this it seems pretty mind blowing for the Bulls to do that.

Siggy
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I think the logic was that

I think the logic was that Krause didn't think Brand was a franchise player. He put up nice stats on some terrible teams, but the thought was that he couldn't be the centerpiece of a good offense that had better talent. He was more so a prolific banger and hard worker with a solid jumper, who's scoring was done on below average efficiency for a big.

I'm not sure if you remember the hype around Chandler as a prep, but he was being touted as a generational type talent.

CAROLINA BLUE NICK
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I'm not a Bulls fan, just

I'm not a Bulls fan, just thought this topic was interesting to give input on. I was in middle school when that happened so I didn't grasp why GM's made the decisions that they did. But looking back on it, I honestly think around that era with the emergence of how great the high school players were doing in the league (Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Tracy Mcgrady) they felt is was worth the investment. The NBA was moving towards the "potential" era that it is now versus going off of what players had accomplished in college and had proven themselves. I think they felt like they were getting the second coming of the Twin Towers in Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. Eddy Curry was being called "Baby Shaq" and he was the MVP of that 2001 McDonald's game as well. The decision the Bulls made is laughable now but hype can create a lot of opportunities for you. Even if it isn't necessarily deserved.

TaylorCondrin
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I was too young I really dont

I was too young I really dont remember the hype on Tyson Chandler quite like I remember the hype on LeBron but I just think Chicago really blew it

mikeyvthedon
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See Taylor, think you miss something here

Kyrie Irving looks like a much better prospect in the long run than even Elton Brand did. MUCH better. Yes, Elton came into the league and put up great numbers, looked like a long term All-Star PF. However, the Bulls won a combined 32 games in his first two seasons. Also, I truly believe that Brand was unhappy and wanted to be traded as well, which was part of why they unloaded him.

They did not get the same number draft pick, however many people (including just about any HS rankings you see at the time) had Tyson Chandler ahead of Kwame Brown. If anything, Eddy Curry and DaJuan Wagner were the players most would see at #1 for that particular class, though neither had the ceiling of Tyson Chandler due to his size and athleticism.

With trading Elton, they were destined to still be an awful team. They were in fact awful enough to get #2 pick in the next years draft, taking Jay Williams. Jay would have ABSOLUTELY gone #1 in 2001. The plan actually worked perfectly, with the hitch of Jay injuring himself in the motorcycle accident. He also did not look like the player many thought he would be, but that was after one year and he most definitely could have improved, had he not injured his leg to early retirement.

So, I think your scenario of comparing Brand for Chandler to Irving for Noel is way off. Irving already showed much more ability and has a much higher ceiling than Elton Brand. Not to mention, Chandler did not have a torn ACL and had been seen as having more upside than even Nerlens did. Plus, while the Bulls did not wait long enough to really reap the benefits of Chandler, the Mavs and Knicks have done alright. Not to mention, who you taking now between Brand and Chandler?

Kyrie made the All-Star team in his 2nd season and looks like a player you can build a contender around. Elton Brand, even at his best, was a really good player on a good team. Was Elton Brand going to be better than Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, Dirk Nowitzki, or going to be able to be a Karl Malone type? Think the answer was a resounding no. With Kyrie Irving, I think you could definitely see him become one of the top PG's in the league. It is easier to trade a perennial All-Star than trade a kid who could be amongst the handful of franchise players in the league.

Also, drafts have different strength. That draft had potential out of this world, much more so than the 1999 draft. Sure, the potential did not really come close to being reached, but it was there. Tyson Chandler might have been in serious discussion for the 1st pick in the 1999 draft had he been a HS senior. He was being talked about as an 8th grader. The Bulls had a hard enough time deciding who the first pick in 1999 would be amongst Brand, Steve Francis and Lamar Odom. All looked promising, Francis maybe more than any of them, but they all never really turned into franchise guys (despite the "Stevie Franchise" nickname). Tyson was seen as a player who needed time, but could maybe do that.

So, unless people actually believe that Nerlens Noel is going to be Bill Russell, it would most definitely be insane to trade him as any pick for Kyrie Irving. Does not necessarily mean the same was true back in 2001 with the Brand for Chandler trade. I remember thinking it was definitely in the Clippers favor, yet the idea of teaming Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, having that size and athleticism together, was REALLY intriguing. The Clippers may have gotten the better of the deal, but did they really go anywhere?

Brand had some nice years, Chandler was run out after the Bulls lost J-Will and a ton of confidence in the rebuilding plan, both teams ended up getting much better #1 picks later on and are potential contenders. The 1999 and 2001 drafts were not that special. 2011 had a special player, 2013's prospects were not as bright as 2001's were at the time. The trade may seem crazy, but I do not think the terms you are looking at it with make it look much crazier than it actually was.

druneave3
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MoonRiver and Siggy

Moonriver and Siggy sum it up nicely. Brand wasn't going to bring rings in like Jordan did and Chandler was being compared to KG, with more potential on offense even! Krause also wanted the local kid in Eddy Curry. I wasn't mad at the time because I also thought Brand was not the franchise changer and expendable. Especially when you have a chance to have the twin towers. They were a perfect pair with Curry a offensive stud with a back to the basket game and an extremely soft touch. Chandler was the hustle and defensive stopper, both with so much potential. I think Krause was hoping for another Robinson/Duncan combo but set the organization back. I really thought they were going to be special with those two and Jamal Crawford.....

Kyrie and Brand are not on the same levels.

I actually wanted Jason Richardson that year for the Bulls, thought he would be way better than what he is. I also loved Eddie Griffin and Omar Cook. Thought Joseph Forte and Kenny Satterfield would be good too.

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the twin towers

I think jerry krause at the time thought that if he wanted to draft eddy curry then he had to move elton brand. these guys were really similar in the fact that they were power players. he saw the tyson chandler had the length and athleticism that brand clearly didn't have and that tyson was only 18 at the time, he had so much potential and room to develop versus brand whose ceiling was probably already reached. i mean can you imagine having tyson chandler rebounding and blocking shots while eddy curry is posting up on guys cuz i mean the guy was strong as hell. that combination of inside presence would have been huge. follow that up with subsequent drafts where the bulls drafted jay williams who was the best pg in the 2002 draft and jamal crawford who was an excellent scorer and you got 4 guys that could have done some real damage as a young team. the problem was that the coaching was horrible and the bulls expected way too much out of guys who weren't mature enough and didn't really have any guidance.

jay williams was irresponsible and got into a crash after only one year

jamal crawford had horrible shot selection and no one forced him to fix it

eddy curry never really improved on rebounding and no one was strict with him about his diet

tyson chandler - perhaps the only guy finally lived up to his potential in the nba but he definitely needed a system that wasn't predicated on him being a #1, #2, on an nba team.

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The move was questionable

The move was questionable even at the time and only looked worse as Elton Brand continued putting up stellar numbers for years. The Bulls would've benefited from keeping Brand and putting him alongside their pick of Eddy Curry. Brand along with a few vets likely could've helped Curry turn into a real monster as a pro.

The other sad part is a few years later the Bulls traded Tyson Chandler who they re-signed to a big extension for JR Smith and PJ Brown, then they traded JR Smith for Howard Eisley and two second round draft picks. PJ Brown only played one year for the Bulls before going into semi-retirement. Howard Eisley never even played for the Bulls. So the Bulls turned the asset of Elton Brand into PJ Brown at the end of his career and two second round draft picks.

r377
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Tyson Chandler was well

Tyson Chandler was well overhyped. I remember seeing alot of high school footage of him dominating 6"7 HS centres. Not hard to do when you have 5 or 6 inches on guys trying to guard you....

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He never had to develop an

He never had to develop an offensive game and as a result he still hasn't. He pretty much scores just on lobs, rebounds and good passes while cutting to the bucket. He is an elite defender now but his offensive game hasn't really changed. It seems like a lot of these "great" high school big guys have a lot of trouble developing an offensive game. Even Dwight Howard who is one of the best centers in the league has historically struggled to create his own offense consistently.

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His dominance at the HS level

His dominance at the HS level wasn't just because of his size. He was a C with the fluidity of a SF. When he was a prep, scouts were speculating that he could play some SF in the future as well because he showed the coordination, lateral quickness and pretty decent ball skills for a big. He had the first step and coordination to take guys off the dribble from 20+ feet out and he was a solid passer as well for a big.
His development just stagnated for whatever reason. He wasn't strong enough and the game didn't slow down for him til later in his career. He suffered a back injury early, which might have stunted his physical development. He also developed a nasty hitch in his shot which basically nullified his face up game which is where offensive potential lied.

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At least the Bulls aren't the

At least the Bulls aren't the Sixers...Philly gave Brand a max contract after missing almost an entire season with a torn Achilles. He then proceeded to play less than 30 games that year and two years later topped out at 15 and 8. I was questioning the move from the get go but you can't blame Elton because he played hard but just didn't have any of the explosion that made him a 20 10 guy.

Now if Philly gives Bynum a max deal I am going to crap myself...

TheArtistPaysth...
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It wasn't so much about Brand, as much the Chandler/Curry combo

Curry was a Chicago kid that everybody knew was going to Chicago at 4, his girth and low post game was to similar with Brand but presumed with more upside. The idea was to have a defensive minded, tough, try hard, effort guy who is long (Chandler) with a big round bowling ball with a soft touch (Curry). You have to remember that Shaq was dominating the League and a Chandler/Curry combo had the makings of Sampson/Olajuwon, in theory.

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It pissed me off when it

It pissed me off when it happened 12 years ago, and it still &$#%#&@! me off. 20 and 10 in his first two years and you trade him for a project high school center. Very poor decision.

TaylorCondrin
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finally someone who shares

finally someone who shares the same sentiment as i ^

ItsVictorOladipo
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To put it in comparison, this

To put it in comparison, this seems to me like it would be very similar if Cleveland were to trade Kyrie Irving to the Magic for the #2 pick and drafting Nerlens Noel
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Not really. It would be more like Minny trading Kevin Love next season for the 2nd pick overall in 2014 and a chance to draft Wiggins or Parker.

Brand was putting up big numbers but hadn't shown the ability to carry a franchise to wins, also he was going to command a massive salary if the Bulls resigned him in a couple years. Chandler was seen as a terrific prospect kinda in the same way we're looking at some of the main guys in 2014.

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I actually loved their idea

I actually loved their idea in theory, to have 2 7 footers, one offensive one defensive, it made a lot of sense. And yes Brand was good, but he was also part of some of the worst teams in Bull's history. Not all his fault obviously, but when you look at his steady, but not spectacular career, I'm not too upset they dumped him. Now getting rid of Artest and Miller for Jalen Rose was as actually worse to me. That did nothing except give us a washed-up ballhog who hated Jay Williams (not like that worked out, I know).

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