It’s been a week since the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery saw Cleveland once again, improbably and comically, land the number one pick. A lot of fun has been had at the expense of the Cavs: mocking past draft flops, predicting how this one will go wrong, and remembering Joakim Noah’s legendary stance on the city of Cleveland. Now that the dust has settled and the jokes turned old, it’s time to look at the lottery in a new light and examine how the results affect our Chicago Bulls. Here’s how we break down the 2014 NBA lottery from a Bulls perspective.
While not participating in the lottery itself, the ping pong balls’ bounce have an effect on the Bulls; or as Dennis from Always Sunny in Philadelphia would claim…
This is a league where little is done in a vacuum, every action produces a ripple effect felt across the league, and the ripples from this year’s draft lottery were overly positive for the Bulls.
Cleveland Wins the Top Pick
Earlier this season the Bulls traded Luol Deng to the Cavs, part of the returning package to Chicago was the right to swap picks with Cleveland in the 2015 draft. This swap is top 14 protected, meaning the Cavs will need to make the playoffs in order for the swap to be eligible.
Adding a talent like Embiid, Wiggins, or Parker should help push the Cavs, who missed the playoffs by 5 games, into one of the 8 playoff spots in the East next season. The Bulls, when anchored by a healthy Rose, were perennially slotted towards the end of the first round. This swap could be the difference between a pick in the mid 20’s or the mid teens.
Boston and Los Angeles Get Bumped Down
As a result of Cleveland jumping from nine to one, eight teams were pushed back in the lottery, including Boston and Los Angeles. The Celtics and Lakers are two teams who were rumored to be willing to trade a high pick for an All-Star player, both possess adequate cap space this summer and the combination of cap space and a high pick would have been a very appealing offer. The less competition for players on the trade market, the better for the Bulls, who will be looking to explore their own trade possibilities this summer.
Whether the team jumping eight spots to number one, a team with no picks and a star wanting out, or a team seated just outside the lottery with two picks in the late teens, the lottery factors into everyone’s offseason plans and upcoming season. For the Bulls, a team not even participating in the lottery, the outcome was as positive as it could be.