Given the fact that so much of the Chicago Bulls 2022-23 roster is set to hit free agency this summer, it’s impossible to tell just how things might play out as the team looks to reconstruct its roster on the open market. Fortunately, it is a fair bit easier deciphering Chicago’s plan for the NBA draft, as we know which picks they have access to and which prospects fit this team’s game plan from a fit standpoint.
It may be little more than a small silver lining at this point, but at the very least, the Bulls secured a small bump in the pecking order by winning the tiebreaker coin flip against OKC earlier this week. This grants Chicago a 1.8% chance at the top overall selection and 8.5% odds of keeping their pick outright.
Since there are several stipulations on the status of Chicago’s incoming and outgoing picks, any draft picks likely to be conveyed be will be listed in bold, while protected picks unlikely to convey will be listed in normal text.
Chicago Bulls 2023 NBA Draft picks
- Bulls’ First-Round Pick (Top-four protected, 8.5% chance to keep in the draft lottery)
- Nuggets’ Second-Round Pick (No. 57, will be forfeited as punishment for Lonzo Ball tampering)
Washington owns Chicago’s second-round pick in 2023.
Chicago Bulls 2024 NBA Draft picks
- Bulls First-Round Pick (If the Bulls don’t move up in the lottery in 2023, they will have full rights to their pick in 2024)
New Orleans owns Chicago’s second-round pick in 2024.
Chicago Bulls 2025 NBA Draft picks
- Bulls’ First-Round Pick (Top-10 protected, otherwise it conveys to San Antonio)
San Antonio owns Chicago’s second-round pick in 2025.
As it currently stands, the Bulls won’t have much coming back in the way of draft capital over the next few years. The front office unloaded everything they had to put this team together, so I can’t say I’m surprised to see them commit to winning now. Even if they blew the team up and transitioned toward a rebuild, the Bulls would still be out of luck as several of their firsts and all of their second-round picks are owned by other teams at the moment.
Past 2025, Chicago’s future looks much brighter. As soon as they pay off the draft debts owed to San Antonio, Orlando, and New Orleans, the better. In fact, Chicago owns all of their own picks from 2026 onwards. If the Bulls did decide to rebuild by trading away their best players now, they could surely add to the stockpile.
Unfortunately, we’re still a long way away from even thinking about reaping the benefits of these decisions. This isn’t 2K, and we can’t just simulate past all of the wasted years rebuilding and playing losing basketball. For better or worse, this is what we’re stuck with for now.