On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Stacey King joins Mark Schanowski and Kevin Anderson to talk about the Bulls offseason, how Jimmy Butler fits in Minnesota, and what he expects out of the team in the near future. Stacey also explains why there’s still a place for a defensive center in today’s NBA and the moment that he knew his pronunciation of ‘Giannis Antetokounmpo’ was going to go viral. Plus you don’t want to miss Stacey’s inside info on how close the Bulls came to cutting Jimmy Butler in his second season. That and more on the Bulls Talk podcast.
At first glance, reports of the NBA pushing for major lottery reform might seem like terrible timing for rebuilding teams like the Bulls. The league's competition committee is trying to come up with a system that will discourage teams from tanking to improve their odds of winding up with the best possible draft position.
Under the current plan, the team that finishes with the worst record has a 25% chance of winding up with the top pick and selects no lower than fourth. The odds then decrease for teams that finish between two and 14.
The new plan would flatten the odds for the bottom four teams, all given a 14% chance to win the top pick in the lottery. The idea is teams will no longer have an extra incentive to lose if it doesn't help them end up with better draft position.
But here's where the Bulls come in. Even though the new plan is expected to be approved by league owners, it won't be implemented until the 2019 draft. That's crucial for a Bulls' team that is likely to have one of the worst records in the league in 2017-'18, but could improve pretty quickly with some good fortune in the summer of 2018.
If the Bulls land a Top 3 pick next June, they could draft one of two elite forward prospects, Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. or Duke's Marvin Bagley III, or 18-year-old international star Luka Doncic. Then they could go into free agency with somewhere between 40 and 50 million dollars of cap space to land a couple free agents to give the roster a big time boost.
I understand the Bulls' record in free agency has not been all that great over the years, and they're not going to convince LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George or Russell Westbrook to come to a rebuilding team. But with so few teams expected to have significant cap space, why couldn't the Bulls make a run at next level stars like DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas (if healthy) or DeAndre Jordan? Plus, they could always go the route of adding two solid rotation players like Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wilson Chandler or Danny Green rather than shoot for one max contract All-Star.
Say the Bulls get Porter Jr. in the draft to handle the small forward spot, then sign Cousins in free agency to play center. All of a sudden you've got a starting line-up of Cousins, Lauri Markkanen, Porter, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, all lottery picks. At that point, the Bulls wouldn't be thinking about finishing near the bottom of the league to improve draft position. They'd be thinking about what moves they could make to get back to the playoffs.
So, when you read these articles about lottery reform, don't look at it as a huge negative for the Bulls. If all goes according to plan, they'll only have one season of being in strong contention for the No. 1 pick, and the rules aren't expected to change for the 2018 lottery.
The Bulls organization officially welcomed back Jannero Pargo on Friday.
The Chicago native and former Bulls guard, who played with the team for parts of four seasons, was announced as a new assistant coach with the Windy City Bulls, the Bulls' G League affiliate, joining Josh Kreibich and Julian Terrell on new head coach Charlie Henry's staff.
Pargo averaged 13.5 points per game during the 2003-04 season and averaged 10.4 points per game during the Bulls' 2005 playoff series with the Washington Wizards.
Most notably, Pargo featured prominently in Game 4 of that series, helping to erase a 10-point deficit in the game's final minute with a trio of 3-pointers. The Bulls went on to lose the game on a Gilbert Arenas buzzer-beater seconds after Pargo tied the score at 110.
“We are very excited to add Jannero and Julian to our coaching staff as well as elevate Josh to an assistant,” Henry said in the announcement. “Jannero and Julian both bring a wealth of playing experience at the collegiate, NBA, G League and international levels that will be a tremendous asset to both our player development and game-planning this season. Josh’s experience in our inaugural season and his tireless work ethic will be invaluable in the growth of our team moving forward.”