IT'S DRAFT LOTTERY DAY!! (And Other Bulls Bullets)

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IT’S DRAFT LOTTERY DAY!! (And Other Bulls Bullets)

Chicago Bulls

Arturas Karnisovas must have accidentally walked under a ladder or two back on March 25th.

When the organization traded two first-round picks, Wendell Carter Jr., and Otto Porter for Nikola Vucevic (and Al-Farouq Aminu), they had their sights set on on the playoffs. And, hell, so did we. A versatile offensive big man who doubles as one of the league’s better screeners felt like a match made in heaven for first-time All-Star Zach LaVine. And while it still should prove successful, it has already taken longer than expected for that success to show itself.

The Bulls finished the post-trade-deadline with an underwhelming 12-17 record. LaVine and Vucevic only played 15 total games together as the team finished right outside the play-in picture with the No. 11 seed. Now, for what feels like the billionth year in a row, we find ourselves kissing some major lottery god butt.

•   Where the Bulls odds stand:

•   If the outcome doesn’t fall in the Bulls favor, I anticipate a lot of virtual sulking. Fans will begin to revisit the Nikola Vucevic trade and question the biggest move made yet by Arturas Karnisovas. In some ways, that response is warranted, but I also think we have to remember that having Vucevic heading into the 2021-22 season is still better than the alternative. Another way to think about it would be if the trade was made post-lottery. Let’s say the Bulls ended up with a pick in the No. 8-11 range tonight, and they went on to move that pick in a deal for Vucevic in the coming weeks. How frustrated would fans be by that? I mean, after the top-4 in this draft, things get a bit muddy anyway. I would surely like to see who Karnisovas selects with that pick, but I also would be willing to move it for an All-Star commodity who could increase the chances of LaVine staying long-term in Chicago. Again, losing a first is a stinky feeling, but the consolation prize for it this time around still feels pretty decent.

•   Is the tide finally turning in the NBA?

•   I’ve seen folks complain about the lack of familiar superstar talent in this year’s final four. “No LeBron? No Steph? No KD? No Harden? No Jokic? No Dame? Boring!” Look, I love watching those guys go at it in a series as much as the next guy, but I’m also more than excited to see some new blood in the mix. Having guys like Devin Booker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Trae Young rise to the occasion can only be good for the game. Torches have to be passed on at one point or another. And, hey, if you’re not into these young whippersnappers, who should have Old Man Chris Paul back on the court soon.

•   Also, looking at this final four, I can’t help but wonder what it means for the Bulls’ chances to compete in the coming years. Franchises like the Clippers, Hawks, and Suns have laid a new foundation relatively quickly. Those teams showed that, with a league this wide open, an aggressive front office can pull off a fast turnaround. From the moves made by the Bulls so far, it appears they hope to be the next one of those teams.

•   The Trail Blazers head coaching search seems to be winding down.

•   I was so fed up with some of the Ben Simmons trade proposals that I made a TikTok. What has my life become?

•   Think about doing some early morning grocery shopping and running into Scottie Pippen buying his own bourbon.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.