If the Bulls want a 2021 first round pick, they’ll need some NBA Lottery luck


SECAUCUS, NJ – AUGUST 20: Deputy Commissioner of the NBA, Mark Tatum holds up the card of the Chicago Bulls after they get the 4th overall pick in the NBA Draft during the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery on August 20, 2020 at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – No matter what the circumstances, this was going to be a bit of a stressfull night for the Bulls.

As the team continues to look to build up their roster, a little luck in the NBA Draft Lottery always helps. That was the case in 2020, when the team moved up to the fourth-overall selection to eventually take forward Patrick Williams.

But thanks to a trade made at the deadline in March, the Bulls need the luck to just stay in the first round tonight as the ping pong ball results are revealed at 7:30 PM.

The deal with the Magic to acquire All-Star center Nikola Vucevic sent with it the team’s first pick in the 2021 and 2023 drafts. At least the selection is Top 4 protecting, giving Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley (who’ll represent the Bulls at the lottery) the shot to add another impact player early.

So what are the odds that will happen? Well, it’s not impossible.

Sitting in the eighth lottery position, the Bulls have a 20.3 percent chance of receiving one of the Top 4 picks in the NBA Draft and keeping the selection they traded to Orlando. They have a 4.5 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, a 4.8 percent chance for the No. 2 pick, a 5.2 percent chance for the No. 3 pick, and a 5.7 percent chance for the No. 4 pick.

If they fail to get any of those selections, Orlando would take the Bulls’ pick and would make that selection. Barring a trade, the Bulls’ only selection they would hold is the 38th overall in the second round. Due to the Nikola Mirotic trade back in 2018, the Bulls would have had the option to swap their selection with the Pelicans in that round, but New Orleans currently sits with the 40th pick.

That makes it unlikely the Bulls would decide to exercise the swap option.

Started in 1985, this is the 13th time the Bulls have been in the NBA Draft Lottery. Only on three occasions have the Bulls moved up from their slot to make a higher pick – 1999, 2008, and 2020. The biggest jump the team made was from 9th to first in 2008 to select Englewood native and 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose.

Here are the team’s previous results in the lottery:

1989 – 5th Spot in Lottery – Picked 6th (Stacey King)

1999 – 4th Spot in Lottery – Picked 1st (Elton Brand)

2000 – 2nd Spot in Lottery – Picked 4th (Marcus Fizer)

2001 – 1st Spot in Lottery – Picked 4th (Eddie Curry)

2002 – 2nd Spot in Lottery – Picked 2nd (Jay Williams)

2003 – 7th Spot in Lottery – Picked 7th (Kirk Heinrich)

2004 – 2nd Spot in Lottery – Picked 3rd (Ben Gordon)

2008 – 9th Spot in Lottery – Picked 1st (Derrick Rose)

2016 – 14th Spot in Lottery – Picked 14th (Denzel Valentine)

2018 – 6th Spot in Lottery – Picked 7th (Wendell Carter Jr.)

2019 – 4th Spot in Lottery – Picked 7th (Coby White)

2020 – 7th Spot in Lottery – Picked 4th (Patrick Williams)

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