Chicago Bulls (NBA)

International Players, 2023-24 Season

Onuralp BitimForwardTurkey2023-24Istanbul, Turkey
Henri DrellForwardEstonia2023-24Tallinn, Estonia
Jusuf NurkicCenterBosnia & Herzegovina2023-24Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Adam SanogoForwardMali2023-24Bamako, Mali
Nikola VucevicCenterMontenegro2023-24Morges, Switzerland

Chicago Bulls Team History

The Chicago Bulls, one of the most iconic franchises in NBA history, boast a rich tradition of international players contributing to their success. This tradition dates back to the early 1980s when they drafted Croatian sensation Toni Kukoč in 1990. Kukoč’s arrival marked a pivotal moment, as he became one of the key components of the Bulls’ second three-peat alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. His versatility and clutch performances earned him the title of the best European player of his generation. During his tenure with the Bulls, Kukoč averaged an impressive 14.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, showcasing the growing influence of international talent in the NBA.

Following Kukoč, the Bulls continued to tap into the global talent pool, notably with the arrival of Luol Deng from South Sudan. Deng, a two-time All-Star, provided a potent blend of scoring and defensive prowess, making him a cornerstone of the Bulls’ roster for nearly a decade. His impact extended beyond the court, as Deng became a role model for aspiring basketball players worldwide, particularly in Africa. Deng’s contributions were instrumental in maintaining the Bulls’ competitive edge during the post-Jordan era, highlighting the franchise’s commitment to embracing diversity and fostering international talent.

In recent years, the Bulls have continued their tradition of recruiting international players, with notable additions such as Lauri Markkanen from Finland. Markkanen, a sharpshooting power forward, quickly made his mark in the league, setting records for three-point shooting among rookies and earning All-Rookie First Team honors in 2018. As the NBA landscape evolves with an increasingly global reach, the Chicago Bulls remain at the forefront, celebrating the diverse talents that continue to shape their storied legacy.