The NBA moved the draft lottery from New York to Chicago in 2018 and it sounds like it will stay here for the foreseeable future.
The league has had the draft combine in Chicago for years. With the lottery taking place on the heels of that, it made sense for the league to hold the lottery in Chicago as well.
Adam Silver explained that in a one-on-one interview with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson.
“We have been very pleased in Chicago,” Silver said. “Our community comes together in Chicago for our predraft camp and combine. It made perfect sense to also conduct the draft lottery there. And that was something that Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel never stopped reminding me of.”
Silver credited Emanuel for also playing a role in Chicago getting the 2020 All-Star Game as well.
In the case of the lottery, it also made sense logistically with key decision makers already in town for the combine. That reasoning isn’t likely to change any time soon, so Silver expects to see the lottery stay in Chicago.
“We are enjoying being in Chicago,” Silver said. “Because of the geographic location, it’s more convenient for our teams to be in a more central location. And Chicago, for the same reasons that makes it a fantastic All-Star host, has all the accommodations you need for our teams when they come together for our combine. My anticipation is we’ll be in Chicago for a while. And the city has been terrific to work with.”
While the Bulls don’t want to be annual participants in the lottery, it does look like the team’s front office will get to sleep in their own beds ahead of the big event. So far the home city advantage hasn’t done anything for the Bulls, which have moved down to the seventh pick in each of the two years the lottery has been in Chicago.