Chicago Bulls Lottery Update

An update on the Chicago Bulls 2018 Draft Lottery standings.

The NBA recently went through the process of determining the draft tiebreakers and as it now stands, with the first round pick received from the Nikola Mirotic trade with the New Orleans Pelicans will be the 22nd draft pick. The Bulls’ own pick is slotted as the 6th pick in the draft but has the same odds as the Kings’ pick that is slotted at 7th. According to tankathon.com, both the Bulls’ and the Kings’ pick have an 18.3% chance of landing in the top-3 and a 5.3% percent chance of being the #1 pick.

This certainly isn’t quite as high as I had hoped for at the beginning of the season but the Bulls can still get another solid building block to put alongside LaVine, Markkanen, and Dunn.

It appears as though DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic are still the consensus top two draft prospects. However, picks 3-7 or 8 seem likely to yield a player with strong potential as well. The Bulls may be able to luck into one of Jaren Jackson Jr., Mo Bamba, Marvin Bagley, and Mikal Bridges with that pick. If not, Trae Young, Collin Sexton, Wendell Carter, and Miles Bridges should still be on the board by the time the Bulls make their pick.

As I have discussed in recent articles, I really like the idea of the Bulls taking Mikal Bridges with their lottery pick. However, this has largely been based on the notion that the Bulls would draft around pick 7 or 8. If their pick lands higher, they need to consider one of these other prospects with a higher ceiling. Bridges looks to be a very solid 3-and-D player that can play an important role immediately but he doesn’t necessarily seem like he has the star like some of these other high lottery prospects.

Is Michael Porter Jr. the Answer?

Entering his freshman year at Mizzou, Michael Porter Jr. was considered a top college prospect. However, injuries leading to a back surgery kept him out all but three games of his freshman year. In those three games, he scored a total of 30 points, going 7/20 from two and 3/10 from three, with 20 total rebounds and just one assist in 53 total minutes played.

Despite the fact that we haven’t seen much of Porter just yet and he has a bit of an injury history, he still seems likely to draft in the top-6 this year. Porter seemingly has great potential as a scoring wing, a role that the Bulls certainly needs to be filled. At 6’10 with a 7’0 foot wingspan, he may one day develop into a great defender as well, which would be very welcome when playing alongside LaVine, who is often a less than enthusiastic defender.

I have my concerns about Porter, but given his expected potential I think the Bulls should seriously consider taking Porter over Mikal Bridges if both are still available.

Other Options in the Draft

Despite my love of Robin Lopez and the veteran presence he provides, he has just one year left on his contract and is not part of the future of the Bulls, leaving a need at center. If the Bulls wanted to go after a center prospect in this draft, Mo Bamba might be the rim-protecting big man the Bulls need. However, I could see Bamba taking a few years to develop because of his thin frame. He will get knocked around by any other big man currently in the NBA until he puts on some weight.

Lastly, I could be okay with the Bulls going the route of drafting a point guard such as Trae Young or Collin Sexton. Even though I am very happy with Kris Dunn’s improvement this season, he still needs to take another leap yet. Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to have another ball handler or let Dunn and Young/Sexton split point guard duties.

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