CHICAGO — Well, that kinda sucked. Okay, it really sucked.
The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery was held in Chicago on Tuesday night, and the hometown Bulls had the fourth-best odds of landing the number one overall pick at 12.5%. And there was Zion Williamson, the almost consensus first overall pick by everyone on NBA Twitter, in person, ready to find out he’s coming to the Windy City.
But even if the Bulls didn’t land the first pick, their chances of landing a top-three pick were roughly 36%. So things were looking promising.
Alas, the Bulls’ card was shown much too early, associated with the SEVENTH (!) overall pick in the upcoming draft.
I don’t mean to overreact, but, what an absolutely astounding disappointment. And frankly, it’s a failure. The Bulls endured over 60 losses this season in hopes of landing at least one of the three best players in this draft: Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Ja Morant. Those hopes are now dead.
What does this mean going forward? It’s hard to say. The Bulls’ front office, Gar Forman and John Paxson, were obviously hoping for a higher pick. But now they will have to make do without one. For fun, here was Paxson’s reaction after the lottery concluded:
Yeah, that makes everything better.
One doesn’t have to go back too far to find the last time the Bulls picked seventh — they’ve held the same pick for the last two years, landing Lauri Markkanen two drafts ago and Wendell Carter Jr. last June. Markkanen is a rising star and Carter Jr. proved he can definitely play, albeit in limited time last season.
We have no idea whom the Bulls will have a shot at next month, but that player might be received with a degree of contempt from Bulls’ fans. The Bulls were hoping to launch themselves as an Eastern Conference contender next year with an assortment of talent made much stronger with this upcoming draft. I guess we’ll see what happens.
But one thing is for sure: This wasn’t the way things were supposed to go.