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)