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The NBA lottery changes can screw the Bulls

Bulls gonna be in that 2019 lottery

NBA: Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the NBA Board of Governors approved a measure to adjust the draft lottery system. The changes do not affect the next draft lottery in 2018, which is key information as the Bulls figure to be among the few worst teams in the league.

Below a concise graphic showing the changes. The lottery now extends to the top 4 picks (instead of top 3) , and the odds are flattened among the worst 3 teams.


Reportedly the only teams that didn’t vote yes were the OKC Thunder and Dallas Mavericks. Tanking is a scourge, so any measure to try and reduce it is fine by me. There may be unintended consequences in where it shifts to where teams ‘tank’ to get to the bottom-7 or whatever, but that happens already, and this change should curb the most egregiously annoying attitude that you not only have to be bad but the very worst of the worst.

For the Bulls though, this isn’t necessarily good news. Because while they may be in line for a generational talent in this draft (just have dumb hope this is the case, ok?) the cupboard is so bare that it was likely going to be really bad the next season too. The PATH the Bulls set themselves down likely needs them to hit multiple top draft picks in a row to be successful, and this change could make it a bit harder if there was indeed a ‘plan’ to be the worst team in the league for multiple seasons.

But fear not: as Gar Forman told us on Media Day, his team actually has a head start because they have accumulated so many recent lottery picks already. And the league didn’t look to legislate their best asset: Bulls culture. So it shouldn’t affect this rebuild at all!

(look in 2023 for this to be mentioned as ‘an unforeseen occurrence’ that hurt John Paxson’s 12th attempt at team-building, a la the Rose Rule that crippled a franchise getting MVP production from a rookie contract)