The National Basketball Association is expected to resume in Orlando with 22 teams invited to finish out the regular season and the playoffs. However, the Chicago Bulls will not be one of those teams participating. Being eight games out of the eighth seed, the Bulls chances of making the playoffs were slim to begin with but now their season is officially over.
In addition to the news of the regular season re-start, the dates for the draft and lottery were announced as well: August 25th for the lottery, and October 15th for the draft.
With Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley hired to lead the front office, the focus for the Bulls is now on these events.
Although a re-start which includes some lottery teams but not others looked bound to create complications, the NBA has seemed to find a solution for that.
Draft lottery info, per NBA: “The 14 NBA Lottery teams would be the 8 teams that do not participate in the restart and the 6 teams that participate in restart but do not qualify for playoffs. These teams would be seeded in lottery & assigned odds based on records through 3/11.”— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 4, 2020
In terms of their own lottery odds, the Bulls are positioned in very familiar territory. According to Tankathon.com, Chicago are projected to pick seventh once again. They have a 32 percent chance of getting in the top four and a 7.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall. Unless the Bulls get some luck to go their way, it seems like they will picking seventh for the third year in a row. With Chicago still trying to figure out what they have in this roster, going with the strategy of taking the best player available might be the right idea. With the actual draft now being more than three months away, both Karnisovas and Eversley will have a lot of time to scout prospects as well as evaluate the current players on the roster.
With the season on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap in days between the Finals and the draft has shortened. As reported by Shams Charania of the Athletic, free agency is expected to begin three days after on October 18th. This is a very quick turnaround from finishing up the current season to starting the next one. By not being invited to the re-start, the Bulls along with the other eliminated teams will have some time to get a head start on next season.