April 15, 2018, 6:28 pm
In perhaps the biggest win for the Bulls thus far in 2018, it was announced late this afternoon that the Bulls topped the Sacramento Kings in a coin flip to determine which team would secure the No. 6 position in the 2018 NBA draft, pending the outcome of the draft lottery.
The Bulls and Kings both finished with identical 27-55 records, and while both teams have the same chance of moving up in the draft via the lottery (5.3 percent to No. 1 overall, 18.3 percent to a top three pick), today’s winning coin flip ensures the Bulls will draft no lower than sixth.
In a separate series of coin flips, it was determined that Chicago would also own the 22nd overall pick thanks to the February trade that sent Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The coin was not as kind the second time around, as four teams (Thunder, Jazz, Pelicans, & Pacers) finished with records of 48-34, meaning the Bulls pick could have been as high as 20th (or as low as 23rd).
Chicago has drafted from the No. 6 spot twice before with mixed results.
In 1981, the Bulls used the No. 6 pick to draft small forward Orlando Woolridge from the University of Notre Dame. Woolridge spent five seasons in Chicago, playing his final two seasons in a Bulls uniform alongside Michael Jordan.
In addition to being one of the most electric dunkers in the NBA, competing in the 1984 & 1985 Slam Dunk Contests, Woolridge was a gifted transition scorer and the last player to lead the Bulls in scoring prior to the Jordan era.
After leaving the Bulls to sign with the New Jersey Nets as a free agent prior to the 1986-1987 season, he would go on to play for the Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons, and Bucks before capping off a 13-year NBA career playing a season for the Philadelphia 76ers.
He finished his NBA career with averages of 16 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
In 1989, the Bulls selected Sporting News College Player of the Year Stacey King out of the University of Oklahoma.
King played just over four seasons with the Bulls, averaging an uninspiring 6.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game before being traded in February 1994 to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Australian center Luc Longley and a 1995 second round draft pick that would be used to select center Dragan Tarlac out of Olympiakos (Greece).
Despite being part of three Bulls championship teams and enjoying an eight-year NBA career, King’s most notable impact in Chicago has been as an announcer, where he is in his 10th year as the Bulls’ lead color commentator on television broadcasts alongside play-by-play partner Neil Funk.
The 1989 draft was also notable for the Bulls having three selections in the first round.
In addition to selecting King, the Bulls also drafted point guard BJ Armstrong out of Iowa with the 18th pick, and forward Jeff Sanders from Georgia Southern University with the 20th.
Chicago has only drafted from the No. 22 spot once in the modern era, selecting forward Bobby Portis out of the University of Arkansas in the 2015 draft.
Just completing his third season in a Bulls uniform, Bobby set career highs in points (13.2), rebounds (6.8), assists (1.7), and minutes per game (22.5). He remains under contract through next season, and it has been rumored that a contract extension will be discussed this off-season.
Chicago’s only other experience with the 22nd overall pick was all the way back in 1967 when they used the third pick in round three (22nd overall) to select John Dickson, a center out of Arkansas State University.
Dickson would never play a game with the Chicago Bulls.
There were several notable names in that 1967 NBA draft, which saw the Bulls select Clem Haskins out of Western Kentucky with the No. 3 overall pick – ahead of Walt Frazier (No. 5 to the Knicks), Pat Riley (No. 7 to the San Diego Rockets), and the coach that would go on to lead Chicago to six NBA championships in the 1990’s, Phil Jackson (17th to the Knicks).
The other notable coin flip today involved the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, which saw Dallas secure the No. 3 overall pick, pushing Atlanta to No. 4 despite both teams finishing with 24-58 records.
The NBA draft lottery will be held May 15 in Chicago, with the 2018 NBA draft taking place June 21 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Pending the outcome of the always controversial lottery to decide the final order of the top 14 picks – the first round of the 2018 NBA draft will look like this:
- Phoenix Suns (25% chance at No. 1 overall pick, 64.2% chance at top three pick)
- Memphis Grizzlies (19.9% – 55.8%)
- Dallas Mavericks (13.8% – 42.6%)
- Atlanta Hawks (13.7% – 42.6%)
- Orlando Magic (8.8% – 29.1%)
- Chicago Bulls (5.3% – 18.3%)
- Sacramento Kings (5.3% – 18.3%)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (from Nets) (2.8% – 9.9%)
- New York Knicks (1.7% – 6.1%)
- Philadelphia 76ers or Boston Celtics (from Lakers, Boston receives if No. 2 – No. 5) (1.1% – 4.0%)
- Charlotte Hornets (.8% – 2.9%)
- Los Angeles Clippers (from Pistons, protected No. 1 – No. 4) (.7% – 2.5%)
- Los Angeles Clippers (.6% – 2.2%)
- Denver Nuggets (.5% – 1.8%)
- Washington Wizards
- Phoenix Suns (from Heat)
- Milwaukee Bucks
- San Antonio Spurs
- Atlanta Hawks (from Wolves)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder)
- Utah Jazz
- Chicago Bulls (from Pelicans)
- Indiana Pacers
- Portland Trailblazers
- Los Angeles Lakers (from Cavs)
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Boston Celtics
- Golden State Warriors
- New Jersey Nets (from Raptors)
- Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)
Notable Recent No. 6 Overall Draft Picks
- Antoine Walker (1996)
- Ron Mercer (1997)
- Wally Szczerbiak (1999)
- Shane Battier (2001)
- Brandon Roy (2006)
- Danilo Gallinari (2008)
- Damian Lillard (2012)
Notable Recent No. 22 Overall Draft Picks
- Jarrett Jack (2005)
- Courtney Lee (2008)
- Kenneth Faried (2011)
April 22, 2019, 12:42 amRussell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook went 5-for-21 from the field to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two treys in Sunday's 98-111 Game 4 loss to the Blazers.
Time and again in this series, it's been evident that Damian Lillard has been playing at a higher level than Westbrook and tonight was a fine example. Lillard was able to shake off his early shooting struggles and come up big in the second half, but Westbrook was still forcing shots and appeared to be on the back foot for most of the game. He's best when he's the one taking it to his opponents. A reactive Westbrook is simply not the star the Thunder need right now, if they want to salvage any hopes of coming back in this first-round series.
April 22, 2019, 12:36 amDennis Schroder - G - Oklahoma City Thunder
Dennis Schroder mirrored his 17-point performance from Friday with another 17-point game in Sunday's loss to the Blazers.
Schroder shot 6-of-12 from the field and added three rebounds, three assists, two 3s and one steal to the box score tonight. Aside from him though, the Thunder's bench was deafeningly quiet. He cannot carry the load of the second unit's scoring output by his lonesome, especially when they're faced up against a team with multiple weapons like the Blazers. For now, the Thunder can only hope he keeps this up and that the other reserves will follow suit.
April 22, 2019, 12:32 amJerami Grant - F - Oklahoma City Thunder
Jerami Grant made just 4-of-10 shots from the field on Sunday to finish with 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three triples and two steals in 34 minutes.
Grant's impact on the defensive end has been invaluable to the Thunder in this series and it was nice to see him active on the glass tonight, especially with Steven Adams being relatively quiet on that front with seven boards while adding six points, one assist, one steal and one block. Unfortunately for the Thunder, Portland's forwards, Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu outplayed and out-hustled them on both ends of the floor.
April 22, 2019, 12:27 amPaul George - F - Oklahoma City Thunder
Despite being slowed down by turnovers and foul trouble, Paul George still managed to light up the box score in Sunday's loss to the Blazers with 32 points on 8-of-21 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, four 3s, one steal and one block.
George has been banged up as early as March and he's been such a trooper, powering through a bothersome shoulder to lead the Thunder in this first-round playoff series. Unfortunately, Damian Lillard and company have been far too much for OKC to handle and George's big nights have come and gone with a lack of ample support to properly contest for the win.
April 22, 2019, 12:23 amMaurice Harkless - F - Trail Blazers
Maurice Harkless had a swell two-way performance in the Blazers' 111-98 Game 4 win over the Thunder on Sunday, posting 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting, adding 10 rebounds, one triple, two steals and three blocks in 34 minutes.
Harkless was mostly a non-factor in fantasy during the regular season due to injuries. He's clearly feeling much better now and is delivering for the Blazers at the right time. If he can keep up posting performances like this, the Blazers could emerge as a dark horse to upset favorites in the west.
April 22, 2019, 12:18 amAl-Farouq Aminu - F - Trail Blazers
Al-Farouq Aminu was feeling it on Sunday, hitting 4-of-9 shots from downtown to help secure a Game 4 win over the Thunder via his 19 points (7-of-16 shooting), nine rebounds, one steal and one block.
The Blazers found an extra kick from Aminu tonight thanks to his hot hand. He's capable of explosions like this from time to time but they're not very consistent, making him a tough player to bank on in playoff DFS. Enes Kanter was relatively quiet as he put up eight points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block.
April 22, 2019, 12:15 amCJ McCollum - G - Trail Blazers
CJ McCollum kept his foot on the gas pedal on Sunday, raining down five 3s on the Thunder en route to his team-high 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting, while adding four rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks.
McCollum is heating up at just the right time for the Blazers and he picked up some of the slack while Damian Lillard was struggling early in the first half. When he and multiple Blazers are able to put up full lines like this, Portland becomes a devastating opponent, even if the opposing team has name-brand superstars in the form of Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
April 22, 2019, 12:09 amDamian Lillard - G - Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard overcame a rough start in Sunday's game vs. the Thunder, found his game in the second half and was able to wind up finishing with 24 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 shooting from the line.
Lillard has proven to be a true superstar in this series, managing to shake off a slow start to be able to deliver when his team needed the jolt on offense. He added four 3s, three rebounds, eight dimes and one steal to round out his line for the night. Despite Oklahoma City's best efforts, Lillard would not be denied. His ability to turn on a switch and take over a game makes him one of the Western Conference's most dangerous players.
April 21, 2019, 10:15 pmTerrence Ross - G/F - Orlando Magic
Terrence Ross could not get it going offensively in Sunday's 85-107 Game 4 loss to the Raptors on Sunday, recording just five points on 1-of-5 shooting (1-of-4 from deep) with two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 31 minutes.
This was a big blow for both the Magic and Ross' owners in DFS. He was coming off a solid 24-point gem on Friday, so this dud came as a bit of a surprise. In the end, costly turnovers and ill-timed fouls helped keep Ross from exploding like he's done in the past. Evan Fournier helped pick up the slack with 19 points (8-of-16 shooting), four rebounds, two 3s, two dimes and one steal in 35 minutes, but it still was not enough to go toe-to-toe with Kawhi Leonard and company in this crucial Game 4.
April 21, 2019, 10:10 pmAaron Gordon - F - Orlando Magic
Aaron Gordon shot 10-of-17 from the field to finish with 25 points, seven rebounds, five dimes, two 3s and one steal in Sunday's Game 4 loss to the Raptors.
Gordon was limited in the first half but turned up the heat in the third quarter where he scored 16 of his team-high 25 points. Unfortunately, his spirited play was not enough to mount a serious enough rally to challenge the Raptor's control over the game. The 23-year-old Gordon has displayed a fresh level of maturity in this series and finally looks prepared to make a significant leap forward in 2019-20.