What Bulls lottery tiebreaker win over Pelicans, Kings means


The Bulls missed out on the 2021 postseason, and are now hoping for some luck at the June's draft lottery.

To retain their first-round pick, the Bulls' selection must land in the top four; otherwise, it conveys to the Orlando Magic as part of the trade deadline day deal for Nikola Vučević.

And because the Bulls' 31-41 regular-season record placed them in a three-way tie with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans for eighth in the lottery standings, each team has a 20.3 percent chance of jumping into the top four and 4.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick, per Tankathon.

RELATED: How Bulls' win to end regular season hurt draft lottery odds

Tuesday's news that the Bulls won the coin flip tiebreaker between those three teams — giving them the eighth position in the pre-lottery order — doesn't change their odds to land top four or No. 1 overall. In fact, it's more of a win for the Magic than anyone else. That tiebreaker only triggers for the tied teams that don't vault up in the draft order, meaning if it kicks in, the Bulls' pick will be on its way to Orlando anyway.

There is some significance for the Bulls, though. Winning the tiebreaker essentially clinches for them the eighth pick in the second round (No. 38 overall) by way of a pick swap with the Pelicans acquired in the 2018 Nikola Mirotić trade.

How? In cases of tiebreak, teams' first and second round pick positions are inverted, meaning the Bulls' second-rounder falls 10th (No. 40 overall) and the Pelicans' falls eighth (No. 38 overall). The swap takes care of the rest, under the condition the Bulls exercise it.


The NBA Draft Lottery is on June 22 this year. Then, the Bulls will have a clear idea of the parameters under which they will work in this critical offseason.

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