Pacers and Pistons flopping in NBA Draft Lottery is great for Bulls

Arturas Karnisovas, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Arturas Karnisovas, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls were able to have a nice stress-free night while watching the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery, as their playoff push allowed them to watch the chaos unfold. The best entertainment Bulls fans could get out of tonight was laughing at the ineptitude of the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.

While the Pistons did get lucky last year with the selection of Cade Cunningham, they went into 2021-22 with the goal of building for the future and getting another long-term contributor with their top pick in this draft. Indiana was willing to rip the Band-Aid off and end the Domantas Sabonis era.

Considering how top-heavy this draft class is, any sort of lottery luck would be a severe roadblock in Chicago’s plan of sifting through an offseason of rumors and establishing themselves as a division stalwart. Luckily for Arturas Karnisovas, the basketball gods came through with some luck.

Detroit ended up with the No. 5 overall pick despite having a 14% chance of getting the top overall selection. With Sabonis repping the Sacramento Kings, Indiana watched as his new team moved into the top four and pushed the Pacers down to the No. 6 pick. The Central got weaker, and that’s a win for the Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls can laugh at the Pistons and Pacers.

This division is a bloodbath. The Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the much-improved Cavaliers will be a thorn in Chicago’s side for a while. Detroit and Indiana staying buried in the basement is one way to guarantee the Bulls some easy wins every year.

The Pacers went from playoff fixtures to one of the most unwatchable teams in the league in just one season. While they only dropped one spot, the idea of them missing out on that one game-changer that fits in alongside Tyrese Haliburton should make Bulls fans feel slightly less afraid of Indiana’s long-term plan.

While the Pistons should end up with a nice player in that Shaedon Sharpe/Keegan Murray tier, the fact that they ended up here despite having the best odds at No. 1 overall has to make missing out on Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith even more challenging to watch.

The Bulls likely won’t be a contender on the back of whoever gets taken with their first-round pick, but their odds of making it to the postseason without the borderline randomness of the play-in game did just get better. Maybe another year of tanking could get you a shot at Victor Wenbenyama, Detroit and Indiana!