When Derrick Rose first tore his meniscus earlier in the season, I, like most Bulls fans, tried to convince myself that the Bulls–like last season–would rally the troops and make an inspiring playoff run like the team did last season.
The Bulls are 3-11 since Rose went down with his knee injury. But it was not until last night when the Bulls simply did not have the offense to match the Houston Rockets that I realized that uglier times are ahead for the Bulls this season. Much uglier than the beating the Bulls are bound to take from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
Bulls fans, the time has come that we embrace the idea of our beloved team tanking this season. As such, now would be the time to befriend Tankathon. Tankathon is a rather ingenious website that tracks the NBA lottery and the chances that teams have at receiving the #1 pick or even one of the top three picks in the upcoming NBA draft.
One does not need Tankathon to know that the Bulls are an awful team. To the doubters of that sentiment, all you need to know is that Mike Dunleavy is being depended on as a primary scorer.
Nonetheless, with a record of 9-15 this season, the Bulls are currently a lottery team. According to Tankathon, the Bulls have a 2.3% chance at winning the first pick and a 8.2% of winning a pick within the top 3 slots of the NBA draft.
Beyond that, this could be the season that the Bulls finally get the rights to the Charlotte Bobcats first round draft pick from the Tyrus Thomas trade. This year, the Bobcats first round pick is protected from the Bulls if it is within the top 10 slots. The Bobcats currently have a record of 12-14 this season. A record that would have the Bobcats selecting 18th in the 2014 NBA Draft. As such, the Bulls would have the rights to that draft pick.
Having two first round draft picks–one being a lottery pick– in the 2014 NBA Draft would certainly change the direction of the Bulls. A change that would be for the better as many NBA executives are drooling at the thought that this draft class has the potential to include nearly a dozen future stars.
“Obviously, there is a long way to go,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “Remember, how many people thought Shabazz Muhammad [the 14th pick in the 2013 draft after one season at UCLA] was the next big thing? But looking at the pure talent in this class, you can say five or six guys will almost certainly be All-Stars and another five or six could easily get there.”-Sports Illustrated
Change is always a scary thought. But change that includes the Bulls bringing over Nikola Mirotic and the drafting of two future stars to go along with a returning Rose and Joakim Noah is a change that many Bulls fans will embrace.