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NBA Lottery: A Journey to the Number One Pick For the Bulls

The Bulls are in the lottery Tuesday night, so let's have a little fun.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago's abysmal season has been over with for little over a month now. It feels nice not having to watch that lethargic team on a nightly basis. I feel cleansed. But anyway, as we all know by now, the Bulls are one of the 14 teams in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery, which takes place Tuesday night at 7pm CT.

Back in 2008, the Bulls finished with ninth worst record in the league, entering the draft lottery with only a 1.7% chance of claiming the number one pick. Defeating the odds, the Bulls ping-pong balls bounced their way as they took hold of the top spot, eventually drafting Derrick Rose out of Memphis. And...we know how that situation has played out.

Entering this year's lottery, Chicago holds a mere 0.5% chance of grabbing that top spot again, along with a 1.8% chance of climbing into the top three. They'll more than likely end up picking in the 14th spot, unless by some magic power their ping-pong balls bounce their way once more. Nevertheless, and knowing this, I decided to have some "fun" with ESPN's Lottery Mock Draft.

If you're not familiar with this Lottery Mock Draft, it's a simulation system that includes 2,184 different scenarios to decide the final lottery positions and players selected. The scenarios were created by ESPN's Chad Ford, so you know this could change at a later date, heh. Anyway, with only a 0.5% chance of winning this thing, and not having anything to do on a Monday night, I figured why not play until the Bulls end up number one?

Before I get started with what happened, let's layout who's in the lottery, their odds, and the players ESPN has included in the system.

Team % To Win Lottery
Philadelphia 25%
LAL 19.9%
Boston 15.6%
Phoenix 11.9%
Minnesota 8.8%
New Orleans 6.3%
Denver 4.3%
Sacramento 1.9%
Toronto 1.9%
Milwaukee 1.9%
Orlando 0.8%
Utah 0.7%
Washington 0.6%
Chicago 0.5%

And here are the 14 players Ford has presumed will be selected in the lottery section:

Player College
Brandon Ingram Duke
Ben Simmons LSU
Jamal Murray Kentucky
Dragan Bender Croatia
Henry Ellenson Marquette
Buddy Hield Oklahoma
Jaylen Brown California
Kris Dunn Providence
Marquese Chriss Washington
Jakob Poeltl Utah
Skal Labissiere Kentucky
Furkan Korkmaz Turkey
Deyonta Davis Michigan State
Tyler Ullis Kentucky

So, when I started upon this journey, at approximately 7:30pm Central Time, I had no idea how long this would take me. I assumed until the early morning hours, because dammit I was dedicated to getting the number one overall pick.

Through the first 50 tries of playing this lottery game, the Bulls came up number 14 each time, not surprisingly. The system had the Bulls selecting Tyler Ullis out of Kentucky, each time, eh. Listen, nothing against Ullis, but I can't handle the Bulls having another undersized point guard on their roster. And selecting one from Kentucky...just brings back horrible Marquis Teague memories. My motivation increased to say the least.

After roughly five minutes, and 54 attempts, I had landed the number three overall pick (1.8% chance!), and it had the Bulls selecting Dragan Bender out of Croatia. Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about Bender, but that he's a widely talked about talent with tremendous potential. But let's get hypothetical here, say the Bulls did end up in this position, it wouldn't be surprising if they elected to take Kris Dunn from Providence.

But I wasn't satisfied by any means with that third pick. I plugged away, tapping and tapping, hoping that the next results would show the Bulls at the top. As time crept by, and my fingers starting to swell, I started to lose a little hope in that I could achieve such an enormous goal. There are 2,184 different scenarios, guys.

I started to get into the upper 100's mark in tries, incessantly staring at my laptop screen. And then it happened, the most glorious moment of this Bulls season. After 15 minutes, at 7:45pm, and on my 154th attempt, I had finally claimed the number one selection. The reward? Ben Simmons out of LSU.

As I said, I honestly thought this would take much, much longer to achieve. But maybe this is a sign of hope? Drafting Ben Simmons, or even Brandon Ingram (he fills the small forward void!) if management were so inclined would be a God send after this past season. Both could eventually act as a great option at point forward for Hoiball.

With that number one pick it could also present a scenario where the Bulls entertain trade ideas for the overall pick in return for a disgruntled star looking for a new home. The possibilities are exciting.

The odds are obviously not in the Bulls favor, but I guess this is all just a long-winded explanation for saying that yes, I'm telling you there's a chance.