NBA draft: Bulls’ No. 1 pick up in the air (but aren’t they all?)

It’s NBA draft week, and you know what that means: Every sports outlet with a pulse is doing what it does best — purporting to have more than the faintest clue about what’s going to happen Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

Let alone what’s going to happen with all these draft prospects after that.

You know what the very best thing about Sun-Times Bulls beat writer Joe Cowley’s mock draft is? He mocks it himself, promising it will go irretrievably wrong by pick No. 4. That’s how it’s done, folks.

But everyone else? They’re kidding themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to let them kid you.

Whom will the Bulls select at No. 18 in the first round? It could be any number of players: Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell, LSU’s Tari Eason, Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams, Auburn’s Walker Kessler or none of the above. My money’s on none of the above. And all that is assuming Bulls exec Arturas Karnisovas doesn’t trade the pick, which is an utterly unsafe assumption to make.

And if the Bulls do get their man, then what? Well, he’ll turn into a great player, of course. They’re all great on draft night, just like No. 4 pick Marcus Fizer was in 2000 (“This guy has everything going for him,” Kenny Smith said) and No. 4 pick Eddy Curry was in 2001 (“A very safe pick,” Charles Barkley praised).

Man, what do any of these people know? It reminds me of what some yahoo player said many years back after being taken in the first round by the Bulls:

“Hopefully,” he said, “I can go in and contribute and maybe turn it around.”


Oh, wait: That was Michael Jordan in 1984. Never mind.

Here’s what’s happening:

MON 20

Avalanche at Lightning, Game 3 (7 p.m., Ch. 7)

Bold prediction: The Bolts will not lose a second straight Stanley Cup finals game by a touchdown and extra point. Look, these are the two-time-defending champs we’re talking about, not the Blackhawks.

Lynn goes back into the fray.

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Blue Jays at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Lance Lynn takes the bump for his second start of the season, but back to what really matters: Which is better, filet or ribeye?

TUE 21

NBA draft (6:30 p.m., Ch. 7, ESPN)

Entering the week, the consensus top three was Auburn’s Jabari Smith (Magic), Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren (Thunder) and Duke’s Paolo Banchero (Rockets). After that, it’s all blindfolds and darts.

“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO)

Forty years after romping to her sixth and final U.S. Open title, 67-year-old Chris Evert — who won 18 Grand Slam events in her extraordinary career — opens up about her battle with ovarian cancer.

Sky at Aces (9 p.m., CBSSN, CW 26)

Going by record, the Aces are the best team in the league. Going by banners, guess what? Different story.

WED 22

Blue Jays at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Four starts ago, Lucas Giolito began his day with an ERA of 2.63. Then he got a little off track, two homers by the Jays’ Alejandro Kirk happened, yada yada … it’s 4.78.

Wolves at Thunderbirds, Game 3 (6:05 p.m., AHLTV)

The Wolves — the AHL’s best team all season — can’t wait to hoist the Calder Cup. And they’ll have fun, fun, fun ’til they gladly put the T-Birds away.

Avalanche at Lightning, Game 4 (7 p.m., Ch. 7)

A sweep tonight? The Avs are ridiculously good no matter what, but blowing up Tampa’s dynasty plans in four games would be the ultimate power move.

THU 23

Cubs at Pirates (11:35 a.m., Marquee)

A four-game set in Pittsburgh comes to a close, leaving all of us to wonder: Is there really any chance either of these teams is good enough to finish the season in third place?

Orioles at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

A four-game set begins, and one truly does have to wonder: If the Sox can’t go at least 3-1 against these guys at home, what’s the point?

Sky at Sparks (9:30 p.m., Marquee)

The Sparks have already fired coach Derek Fisher, still are struggling to get Liz Cambage going and have sunk near the bottom of the West standings. How did this team win the season opener at Wintrust Arena again?

FRI 24

Cubs at Cardinals (7:15 p.m., Apple TV+)

What says baseball better than these age-old rivals playing in the shadow of the Arch on a streaming service with announcers nobody has ever heard of? OK, so it isn’t perfect.

SAT 25

College World Series finals, Game 1 (5 p.m., ESPN)

Notre Dame? Oklahoma? Arkansas? Mississippi? Whichever team wins it all, the title really should come with a Peyton Manning “Omaha!” Award.

Fire at Dynamo (7 p.m., UniMas, TUDN)

Last time out, the Fire snapped a 10-game winless streak. Dare we dream of a two-game lossless streak?

SUN 26

Cubs at Cardinals (1:15 p.m., Marquee)

You’ve got to hand it to the Cards, who are well on their way to a 15th winning season in a row. It’s almost like they don’t even realize great organizations are supposed to rebuild once or twice per decade.

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