Bulls not lamenting their lack of lottery luck in 2018

CHICAGO – Maybe he’d be the one they’d call “lucky,” just like they did when Steve Schanwald was on the podium ten years earlier.

The Bulls vice president of business operations was there at the NBA Lottery in Secaucus, New Jersey back in 2008 when the team made the stunning jump from the 9th spot to the top spot to draft Derrick Rose. The moment was replayed often this week, considering the Bulls’ desire to get another No. 1 pick since they are currently in a rebuilding mode.

Michael Reinsdorf, the team’s president and chief operating officer, was the man in front of the crowd as this year’s lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. The Bulls had better odds this time than they did when Schanwald represented the team, having the sixth-best odds to get the top pick.

“I was a little nervous,” admitted Reinsdorf on Tuesday night. “As they were picking each folder, I had a cheat sheet to make sure nobody jumped us.”

He got through the first two picks which that could have happened – the ninth and eighth pick – but on the seventh he wasn’t so lucky.

“I could kinda see – as soon as I saw the red when he was pulling (the card) out I was like ‘Aw, shhhh,'” said Reinsdorf at the minute the Bulls found out their pick.

Sure it was a disappointment – but not an overwhelming one. It was two picks above the worst case scenario and just one from where they finished last year. Sure, some might be frustrated that the team (Kings) whom the Bulls beat to get a few extra ping-pong balls in a random draw after the season ended up getting the Top 3, but in the end no one was terribly frustrated.

“We’re good with where we’re at,” said Bulls executive vice president John Paxson, who was in a rather upbeat mood at the Palmer House on Tuesday.  “We know we’ll get a player we like.”

Very recently they have. In last year’s draft they acquired Lauri Markkanen out of Arizona with the seventh pick acquired from Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade. He started 68 games for the Bulls this year, averaging 15.2 points per game with 7.5 rebounds a contest and was one of the bright spots of the teams’ first rebuilding year.

Don’t think that fact was far from anyone’s mind even with the lottery letdown.

“You hope, you cross your fingers, and you say good things, hope for the best. If it happens, that’s great, but it didn’t,” said Reinsdorf. “Obviously I’m a little disappointed but last year we drafted Lauri at seven – so hopefully we’ll repeat that.”