If you hear John Paxson review his 16 years at this job, he’s convinced himself that there’s only been one rebuild prior to this one. That was a core first led by Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich, who in their first year together helped the Bulls jump from 23 to 47 wins and made the 2005 Eastern Conference playoffs.
A summer later, after a fleecing of Isiah Thomas, they had the No. 2 pick in the draft. There’s an alternate reality where LaMarcus Aldridge is never traded for Tyrus Thomas. That would’ve been something.