Bulls Win the Draft Lottery Tiebreaker, Improving Their Official Odds (… Slightly)
The Chicago Bulls made clear that they didn’t care about lottery odds at the trade deadline. And now they’re set to pay the consequences.
While the Chicago Bulls hoped to leave the ping-pong balls in their dust with a late-season surge, they fell flat by dropping their second game to the Miami Heat in the Play-In Tournament. With that being the case, they officially finished the year tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 11th-worst record in the NBA.
The league went on to hold a tiebreaker coin flip on Monday to decide which team would draft ahead of the other. According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bulls won and secured the 11th spot ahead of the lottery, which is set for May 16.
So what does this mean for their chances of keeping this year’s 2023 first-round pick? Well, technically speaking, it improved. The Bulls now hold an 8.5 percent chance to move into a top-4 spot and a 1.8 percent chance to earn the No. 1 pick in the draft (aka select big man Victor Wembanyama).
If they had lost the tiebreaker with the Thunder, they would have held an 8.0 percent chance to keep their pick and a 1.7 percent chance to sit atop the league. I know … it essentially changed nothing, but I’ll take every decimal point I can get it, folks!
Another way to put this is that the Bulls have a 91.5 percent chance of losing their pick to the Orlando Magic. And, yes, that really stings when we consider how much lower those odds were a little over one month ago. On March 6, the Magic had just a 65.2 percent chance to keep their pick. The Bulls were also just one loss back from changing that number to a 63.0 percent chance.
Honestly, if Chicago had decided to prioritize their draft position rather than winning one meaningless Play-In game, there is a realistic world where they could have increased their odds at a top-4 selection all the way to 41.2 percent. Alas … here they are.
I guess the only good news is that we have seen the lottery gods bless the Bulls before. When the organization landed Derrick Rose, they had just a 1.7 percent chance to do so. So if 1.7 can land Derrick, 1.8 has to land Vic, right!?
Get the champagne ready!