If the Bulls were going to lose out on the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, as they did in Tuesday night’s televised lottery from the Hilton Chicago, couldn’t it have been to one of the three teams with better percentage chances to win the Zion Williamson sweepstakes?
At least then, the rest of us would’ve had a renewed sense of purpose. And that purpose would’ve been tearing the Bulls a new one for failing at the whole tanking thing. If we’ve learned anything over these long, hard years since Derrick Rose’s knee went kablooey, it’s that tearing the Bulls a new one is fun! (Or is that just me?)
Instead, it’s the Pelicans. It’s anticlimactic. We’re going to have to get used to the Pels being relevant, at least in a talked-about-24-7-on-ESPN sort of way. It’s going to be weird, largely because people are going to be saying “Pels” a lot.
But enough about the lucky Pels. Let’s talk about the unlucky Bulls. Let’s talk about old No. 7, the pick the Bulls are stuck with once again. Going into the lottery, they had a 16.7 percent chance of being stuck with the seventh pick, as opposed to a 12.5 percent shot at the top pick and a roughly 50 percent shot to end up in the top four.
Williamson would’ve been like No. 1 overall pick Rose in 2008, only a rarer talent. He would’ve been like Blackhawks No. 1 overall pick Patrick Kane in 2007, only exponentially more famous. Williamson instantly would’ve brought as much excitement to this town as any first-round draft pick on any team, ever.
Picking second, third or fourth wouldn’t have been so bad, either. But seventh? Have fun with that one, John Paxson and Gar Forman.
All hope isn’t lost, just most of it. Bulls core pieces Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. were No. 7 picks. Another player of their caliber and, well, speaking of old No. 7, maybe we won’t want to reach for the Jack Daniel’s.
I’m just sayin’
It’s not a strong draft field, though, notwithstanding all the Zion hype. It’s strong at the top but not deep.
My take is the best the Bulls might be able to do at No. 7 is North Carolina point guard Coby White. He was electrifying late in the Tar Heels’ season. He’s only 19. He’s 6-5 — two inches taller than Murray State’s Ja Morant — and similarly athletic.
But will White still be on the board at No. 7? I bet no.
Jury duty? A dental appointment? The dreaded “flu-like symptoms”?
If the Cubs are going to get Yu Darvish out of the start he’s lined up to make Monday against the Phillies at Wrigley Field, they’ll need to come up with an excuse.
Otherwise, it’ll be Darvish vs. Jake Arrieta in the most dramatic showdown of the season. That is, if nothing happens between now and then to knock either right-hander off schedule.
And nothing had better happen because this will be exquisite theater for, you know, four or five innings if we’re lucky.
— Remember when Cubs fans used to complain about Arrieta not going deep into games? He has lasted at least six innings in all but two of his eight starts this season. Compared with Darvish’s sad, sorry total of one six-inning outing in eight starts, that’s downright legendary.
— The independent-league Chicago Dogs are giving every fan at Impact Field for Friday’s home opener a hot-dog costume in hopes of eclipsing the world record for — let’s be clear, this is the team’s PR department talking — “the largest gathering of wieners in one location.”
That’s some serious hot-dogging. No truth to the rumor the Dogs asked White Sox star Tim Anderson to pop by Rosemont and throw out the first bat.
— One wonders if new Dogs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will appear in relief on Friday. If so, will he perform with relish?
— Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito is 4-0 with an ERA of 2.42 and a WHIP of 0.96 on the road this season. Not bad for a 24-year-old who has done nothing but battle from behind in a professional career that began with Tommy John surgery.
About the “lost cause” label many have tried to slap on Giolito the last couple of years? Time to rethink that one.
— What’s better than Blues vs. Sharks or Bruins vs. Hurricanes? Team USA vs. Great Britain, baby.
OK, so maybe not. But the Americans are off to a 2-1 start at the world championships in Slovakia, and Hawks Alex DeBrincat (three goals, one assist) and Kane (one goal, two assists) are rolling. I’m setting the over-under for DeBrincat’s and Kane’s combined points Wednesday against the not-at-all-vaunted Brits at 4½.-