May 17, 2018, 11:00 am
Now that we know the Bulls will be picking at No. 7 in the 2018 NBA Draft, what can we learn by looking at the past 20 years of draft data as we try to define a reasonable range of expectations for the player they ultimately select?
Well, it’s a mixed bag.
If you’re a glass half-empty type, you would correctly point out that in the last 20 years, the best player in the draft was only available at the seventh or later spot a mere five times out of twenty:
1998 – Dirk Nowitzki (9th) and/or Paul Pierce (10th)
2009 – Stephen Curry (7th)
2011 – Kawhi Leonard (15th)
2013 – Giannis Antetokounmpo (15th)
2017 – Donovan Mitchell (13th)
Perhaps its a bit early to include Donovan Mitchell on that list, but if we give him the benefit of the doubt – that would mean the best player in the draft has been available at the seventh spot or later only 25 percent of the time.
If you’re a glass half-full type, you would counter that point by also correctly stating that business has been picking up lately, with four of those players being in drafts within the past ten years.
Cutting our sample size in half almost doubles the chances of the best player in the draft still being on the board when the Bulls pick!
So is a franchise player in the cards when the Bulls are on the clock at the Barclay’s Center on June 21st?
Time will tell, but its important to remember that a draft pick is an investment. As with any investment, past performance is not indicative of future success.
So with a grain of salt, let’s take a look at a 20-year history of No. 7 selections in the NBA Draft, feel nostalgic, and realize that none of us has any idea at this point what we will be saying in a few years about any of the players slated to be drafted next month.
The Bulls have owned the No. 7 pick four times over the past 20 years:
2000 – Chris Mihm – Texas (immediately traded to Cleveland for No. 8 pick Jamal Crawford and cash)
2003 – Kirk Hinrich – Kansas
2004 – Luol Deng – Duke
2017 – Lauri Markkanen
As you will see after looking at the complete list of No. 7 picks below, the Bulls have had outstanding luck drafting from the seventh spot. All of those players (swapping out Mihm for Crawford), either went on to have or are in the process of having long, productive NBA careers.
There have only been three All-Stars drafted in the last 20 years from the No. 7 spot:
Richard Hamilton – 1999 (Washington Wizards)
Luol Deng – 2004 (Chicago Bulls)
Stephen Curry – 2009 (Golden State Warriors)
All signs point to Lauri Markkanen making an All-Star team at some point in the future as well.
It may have been difficult to see the Bulls cede ground in the lottery Tuesday night, but over the past 20 years no team in the NBA can claim the repeated success the Bulls have had with the No. 7 pick.
Now onto a nostalgic stroll down memory lane with a recap of No. 7 selections from 1998-2017:
1998 – Jason Williams, PG – Florida (Sacramento Kings)
1999 – Richard Hamilton, SG – Seton Hall (Washington Wizards)
2000 – Chris Mihm, C – Texas (Chicago Bulls)
2001 – Eddie Griffin, PF – Seton Hall (New Jersey Nets)
2002 – Nene, PF – Brazil (New York Knicks)
2003 – Kirk Hinrich, PG – Kansas (Chicago Bulls)
2004 – Luol Deng, SF – Duke (Chicago Bulls)
2005 – Charlie Villanueva, PF – Connecticut (Toronto Raptors)
2006 – Randy Foye, PG – Villanova (Boston Celtics)
2007 – Corey Bewwer, SF – Florida (Minnesota Timberwolves)
2008 – Eric Gordon, SG – Indiana (Los Angeles Clippers)
2009 – Stephen Curry, PG – Charlston (Golden State Warriors)
2010 – Greg Monroe, PF – Georgetown (Detroit Pistons)
2011 – Bismack Biyombo, C – Congo (Sacramento Kings)
2012 – Harrison Barnes, SF – North Carolina (Golden State Warriors)
2013 – Ben McLemore, SG – Kansas (Sacramento Kings)
2014 – Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky (Los Angeles Lakers)
2015 – Emmanuel Mudiay, PG – Congo (Denver Nuggets)
2016 – Jamal Murray, PG – Kentucky (Denver Nuggets)
2017 – Lauri Markkanen, PF – Arizona (Chicago Bulls)
May 27, 2020, 9:06 pmAndre IguodalaSF, Miami Heat
Andre Iguodala returned to South Florida after living in California since the NBA season was suspended.
Iguodala returning to the market where his team is could mean that he believes team workouts will begin soon. However, there is no official timetable on when team workouts will begin and Jimmy Butler has yet to return to Miami.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:52 pmZach LaVineSG, Chicago Bulls
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.
The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.
Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:08 pmLuka DoncicPG-SF, Dallas Mavericks
Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.
This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 10:07 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Los Angeles Clippers
On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.
Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.
Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:47 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.
"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
May 26, 2020, 8:34 pmJoel EmbiidC, Philadelphia Sixers
The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.
The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:26 pmClint CapelaC, Atlanta Hawks
Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.
"Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.
May 26, 2020, 8:17 pmMohamed BambaC, Orlando Magic
Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.
Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.
May 25, 2020, 3:16 pmTerry RozierPG, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.
With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.
Source: Charlotte Hornets
May 25, 2020, 3:13 pmJon LeuerPF, Milwaukee Bucks
Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.
Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.
Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram