In the Bulls first full year of rebuilding, efforts focused around the 1999 NBA Draft’s first overall pick, Elton Brand. In the 1999-00 NBA season, Brand joined an impressive group of NBA players, becoming only the 19th player in league history to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in a rookie campaign. In addition, he became only the second player in team history to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, joining Artis Gilmore.
As a team, the Bulls struggled in the franchise’s first full season without Michael Jordan, finishing with a 17-65 overall record. The Bulls attendance, however, continued to rank among the best in the league, extending the home sellout streak to 608 games (regular season and playoffs), the longest streak in the NBA at the time.
Brand was named NBA Co-Rookie of the Year (shared with Houston’s Steve Francis), MVP at the Schick Rookie Challenge during All-Star Break (setting record with 21 rebounds) and NBA Rookie of the Month for January, February and April. Brand’s best performance came on April 13, 2000, when he set a team record, hitting 14 straight field goals en route to a career-high 44 points versus Washington at the United Center.
The Bulls other first round selection, Ron Artest, also had a solid rookie season, earning him mention on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Other notes from the campaign included trading Toni Kukoc to Philadelphia as part of a three-way trade with Golden State, receiving the Washington Wizards first round draft pick in 2000, along with John Starks and Bruce Bowen and setting franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game (6) on March 7, 2000 at the United Center versus Atlanta.