No lottery luck for the Chicago Bulls, who won’t have a 1st-round pick in this year’s NBA draft

Luck didn’t fall in the Chicago Bulls’ favor Tuesday night in the NBA draft lottery at McCormick Place.

The Bulls didn’t land a top-four pick — and as a result, they won’t have a first-round pick at all this year. They must relinquish their first-round selection — which wound up being No. 11 — to the Orlando Magic as the final stipulation in the 2021 trade for center Nikola Vučević. The pick was top-four protected in this year’s draft.

The San Antonio Spurs received the No. 1 pick, which they almost certainly will use on highly touted French prospect Victor Wembanyama.

The odds were never in the Bulls’ favor — they had only a 2.5% chance of landing the No. 4 pick, a 2.21% chance at No. 3, a 1.98% chance at No. 2 and a 1.8% chance of getting the top pick.

The structure of the draft lottery created a wide chasm between victory and defeat for the Bulls. They could not receive any pick between No. 5 and No. 10, limiting them to either a shot at a top prospect such as Wembanyama, Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson or the relinquishment of their pick to the Magic.

There is time for the Bulls to trade back up into the first round, but their trade capital is limited, especially because of the continued uncertainty surrounding Lonzo Ball’s knee injury.

Guard Dalen Terry represented the Bulls on stage during the lottery. Newly inaugurated Mayor Brandon Johnson also attended and spoke with Commissioner Adam Silver and other NBA representatives before the lottery.

After the Nos. 6-14 picks remained in order, the lottery produced a couple of unexpected results. The Detroit Pistons — who were tied for the best odds at the No. 1 pick with the Spurs and Houston Rockets — fell out of the top four, while the Portland Trail Blazers moved up from No. 5 to No. 3 and the Charlotte Hornets from No. 4 to No. 2.

But it was the Spurs who won the ultimate bounty, drawing immediate excited cheers from their front-office representatives in attendance.

“Our future was already bright,” managing partner Peter J. Holt said. “Now it’s going to be through the moon.”

It’s the third time the Spurs have won the lottery. They chose Hall of Famers David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997. Now, in Wembanyama, they have a chance to select a 19-year-old player touted as a generational talent in the making.

The 7-foot-3 Wembanyama, who plays for Metropolitans 92 in his native France, has been seen throughout the last year as a lock to be the top pick. He turned pro in 2020 and leads the French league this season in scoring (21.6 ppg), rebounding (10.5 rpg) and blocked shots (3.1 per game) while also averaging 2.5 assists.

“I’m trying to win a ring ASAP,” Wembanyama said on ESPN after the lottery results. “So be ready.”

The NBA draft will take place June 22 in New York.

Associated Press contributed.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *