May 15, 2018, 10:26 pm
Despite being on their home turf, with the annual draft lottery taking place at the Palmer House Hilton on Monroe Street in Chicago, the ping pong balls determining the Bulls’ draft fate were unkind Thursday night.
Hoping to defy odds giving them a 5.3 percent chance at the top overall pick and an 18.3 percent chance at a top three selection, the Bulls instead found themselves slipping a spot in the draft order when the Sacramento Kings instead were able to overcome identical odds and move up to the No. 2 position in the 2018 NBA draft.
After finishing the season with identical records this past season (27-55), the Bulls defeated the Kings in a coin flip last month to get the No. 6 pick heading into the lottery, nudging the Kings to the No. 7 position.
On Tuesday night, it was the Kings who would have the last laugh as they vaulted up to the top of the draft board, leaping over the Bulls and bumping them down a spot from No. 6 to No. 7.
It will be a familiar draft slot for Chicago, as they selected forward Lauri Markkanen out of the University of Arizona with the seventh overall selection in last year’s draft after acquiring the pick in the Jimmy Butler deal with Minnesota.
For the Bulls, there’s no time to fret over what might have been had they lost the coin flip with Sacramento last month (thus receiving the Kings winning combination of ping pong balls), as the NBA draft combine begins tomorrow at Quest Multisport in Chicago and runs through Sunday.
Potential Bulls targets for the No. 7 pick participating in the combine include Duke forward/center Wendel Carter, Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., Villanova forward Mikal Bridges, and Texas center Mohamed Bamba.
Despite tonight’s setback, the Bulls will likely have at least two of those four options available to them at No. 7 – as it’s expected consensus top prospects DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, and Jaren Jackson will be selected before the Bulls are on the clock.
The combine will also be a useful tool for the Bulls to identify potential options for the No. 22 pick they also own thanks to the February trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for Nikola Mirotic.
Portions of the combine will be televised on ESPN2 Thursday & Friday from 3pm-7pm EST.
Once the combine wraps up Sunday, participants will be given feedback on their performance and expected draft position and will then have until June 11 to withdraw their name from the draft and return to school provided they still have eligibility remaining and have not signed with an agent.
From there teams will have ten days to finalize their draft boards as the draft will take place on June 21 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
February 23, 2020, 10:50 pmDamion LeeSG, Golden State Warriors
Damion Lee's shooting came around on Sunday while facing the Pelicans, going 9-of-15 from the field for 22 points, four 3-pointers, four rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal.
Lee was strong over the course of his 35 minutes. He is an inconsistent performer so don't assume he is going to ride this to the finish line in your league, but enjoy the stats while he is delivering them. Ky Bowman was not too shabby either, going for 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and one block over the course of 32 minutes. Bowman's role has been streaky, and he's more of a deep league streamer that could be the hot hand on any given night for the Warriors.
February 23, 2020, 10:49 pmNicolo MelliPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Nicolo Melli scored 20 points and knocked down a career-high six triples in a win over the Warriors on Sunday.
Melli tied his career-high in scoring and shot 7-of-8 from the field. He added five rebounds, one assist and one block to the box score. He can be used as a deep-league shooting specialist if you are short on triples.
February 23, 2020, 10:46 pmJrue HolidayPG, New Orleans Pelicans
Jrue Holiday put up 23 points with 15 dimes in a team-high 38 minutes of action in a 115-101 win over the Warriors on Sunday.
Holiday shot 10-of-17 from the field and added seven rebounds and three triples to the box score. He is locked in as a top-40 option for the rest of the season.
February 23, 2020, 10:43 pmZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson went off against the Warriors on Sunday with 28 points and seven rebounds in 33 minutes of action.
Williamson shot 13-of-20 from the field and added two assists and one block to the stat sheet. The only negative aspect of his performance was his free-throw shooting as he went just 1-of-6 from the stripe. Williamson is a middle-round option with early-round upside for anyone that is punting free throws.
February 23, 2020, 10:25 pmZach LaVinePG, Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine was awesome against the Wizards on Sunday, accounting for 32 points (11-of-20 FG), six 3-pointers, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
LaVine did have nine turnovers which is a pain for 9-CAT leagues, but we can't complain when he performs like this. While the team has not been winning games, LaVine has proven he is an early-round player in fantasy circles this season. He's a do it all guard that can thrive in any format.
February 23, 2020, 10:20 pmThaddeus YoungPF, Chicago Bulls
Thaddeus Young is in the zone, going for 23 points (8-of-14 FG), five 3-pointers, six rebounds and three steals vs. the Wizards on Sunday.
Young is the lead option at power forward and has been playing exquisitely ever since he was moved into the role. Lauri Markkanen's eventual return will end the fun, but that is not an issue yet, and even when Wendell Carter Jr. returns, you should still view Young as a standard league player.
February 23, 2020, 10:16 pmTomas SatoranskyPG, Chicago Bulls
Tomas Satoransky did it all on Sunday, going for 15 points, 13 assists, three rebounds, and four steals against the Wizards.
With Kris Dunn done for the year most likely Satoransky is in an excellent position for the stretch run. It took him a while to secure the point guard job for the Bulls, but much like his past seasons with the Wizards, Satoransky's value often takes some time to be appreciated, and it looks like he will be a reliable performer to close out the season in standard leagues.
February 23, 2020, 10:12 pmCoby WhitePG, Chicago Bulls
Coby White stayed red hot and dropped 33 points yet again on Sunday vs. the Wizards, going 11-of-18 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line, while totaling five 3-pointers, six rebounds, two steals and one block.
Welcome to fantasy basketball Coby White. He was beginning to fill up the box score before the All-Star break, but these two performances are on a completely different planet. White was able to thrive alongside Tomas Satoransky tonight, which is even better for his ROS prospects. He's a must-add if that was not already clear in standard leagues, and while it is hard to imagine he can do this for the third time, White still belongs on your roster for his upside alone.
February 23, 2020, 10:04 pmDaniel GaffordPF, Chicago Bulls
Daniel Gafford got the start on Sunday vs. the Wizards, putting up 10 points (5-of-6 FG, 0-of-4 FT), two rebounds, two blocks and three turnovers.
Gafford put up some numbers over his 22 minutes, but that shooting from the free-throw line is a headache. Wendell Carter Jr.'s return is on the horizon, Luke Kornet should also not be missing for too long, making Gafford more of a blocks-specialist as long as he retains the starting role. This should be a short-term streaming situation.
February 23, 2020, 9:58 pmBradley BealSG, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal exploded for a career-high 53 points (15-of-27 FG, 18-of-20 FT) on Sunday vs. the Bulls, but it was not enough as the Wizards fell 117-126.
With the Wizards on the fringes of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference Beal has to be frustrated that they came out of the break with losses to the Bulls tonight and Cavs on Friday. He rounded out this performance with five 3-pointers, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and seven turnovers. Beal is plenty motivated to deliver first-round value as long as he is active and should help plenty of fantasy squads down the stretch.