After falling in the play-in tournament to the Miami Heat, the only thing left for Chicago Bulls fans to hold out hope for is that this offseason may yield new a new-look roster that can bounce back better next season. With no spare cap room to spend in free agency, however, Chicago will need to turn to the NBA Draft Lottery if they wish to improve drastically without spending big.
Unfortunately, the Bulls do not own the rights to their 2023 first-round pick (or either of their second-round picks, for that matter), as it was traded to Orlando in exchange for Nikola Vucevic in 2021. There is, however, an exception here. If the Bulls manage to luck out in the lottery and jump into the top four, they’ll retain their pick for this year.
In a year where the talent at the top of the draft seems to be some of the best we’ve seen in a long time, this could be huge for the Bulls. Finishing the season tied for the 11th-worst record at 40-42 with the Thunder, the Bulls would need to resolve this issue with a classic coin flip.
Fortune favored Chicago here, as the Bulls won the coin flip and bump up to the 11th-best lottery odds while the Thunder slide into the 12th spot. This means Chicago’s odds of winning the lottery are now 1.8%, and their chances of keeping their pick outright have increased from 8% to 8.5%. It may not seem like much, but the Bulls need every edge they can possibly get their hands on right now.
The Chicago Bulls’ odds of obtaining a top prospect like Victor Wembanyama have increased after winning a tiebreaker coin flip with the OKC Thunder.
Hopefully, the coin flip actually ends up falling in Chicago’s favor this time. As you may recall, the last time the Bulls found themselves in this position was 2018, when they ended up tied with the Kings. Although Chicago would end up winning the coin flip for better odds, it was actually the lower spot that ended up jumping all the way to the No. 2 position. Of course, Sacramento would then go on to fumble this pick by selecting Marvin Bagley, instead of Luka Doncic — who the Bulls reportedly valued highly.
With just 1.8% odds, I have to admit that it does seem unlikely the Bulls will be the ones lucky enough to select projected top pick Victor Wembanyama. That being said, it’s important to remember that this wouldn’t be the first time the Bulls struck the jackpot. Back in 2008, Chicago nabbed the top pick to select Derrick Rose, a scenario in which only had a 1.7% chance to play out.
Could history repeat itself here, perhaps?
Wembanyama would obviously be a massive difference-maker at arguably Chicago’s greatest position of need, but even if they don’t land Victor, Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller are each promising enough to be potential No. 1 picks in any other year. There are several prospects out there that could be had in the top four that would immediately be able to come in and play big minutes for a Bulls team that seems more interested in winning now.
The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery will take place on May 16, so we won’t know if it’s worth getting our hopes up just yet. Until then, just permit us to dream about Wembanyama in the red and white.