The Chicago Bulls clinched have clinched home court advantage against everyone except for the San Antonio Spurs which they can do with a win tonight or a loss by San Antonio. However, the Bulls first round opponent has yet to be decided.
The Philadelphia 76ers made it clear that they'd prefer to play the Bulls. Evan Turner went on to say a matchup with the Bulls would mean they were dodging the tougher team. However, they didn't play like it last night when they could have locked themselves into a matchup against Chicago with a loss, but instead went on to beat the Milwaukee Bucks on the road.
The Knicks also presumably prefer a Chicago matchup, however, they've beaten Atlanta and the Clippers in the past two games to fight hard to play the Heat. The Clippers win last night (Chris Paul was out) is especially interesting because the game had meaning to the Clippers who are still fighting for homecourt in the first round while New York would probably have been better off losing.
Even so, the Paul-less Clippers were easily defeated by the Knicks who pulled all their good players in the fourth in an attempt to lose but hung on to win anyway.
The Knicks play the Bobcats tonight while the 76ers play the Pistons. Chicago will matchup against Philadelphia with a Philly loss or a Knicks win, and they'll match up against the Knicks if the Knicks lose and Philly wins. Oh, btw, the Bobcats are on a 22 game losing streak currently, so the Knicks may not be able to throw that game even if they try.
Since I get this question on twitter plenty, no, the Bulls do not own the Bobcats pick this year. The assumed protection schedule for the pick is as follows (I say assumed only because I've never seen the schedule from an official source, and people immediately guessed this was the schedule because it was the one used for a similar trade Charlotte did with Minnesota):
2013: top 12
2014: top 10
2015: top 8
How far the pick goes really comes down to how well they do in the lottery. If they get a game changing superstar player, then they can easily move up and make the playoffs. A .500 record at any point in the next four years is enough to give us pick #15. However, Charlotte's an unlikely destination for any worthwhile free agents, doesn't have much in terms of trading pieces, and doesn't have a whole bunch of interesting young talent either.
In short, if you were going to bet on any team sucking for the next four seasons, Charlotte would be a pretty good bet even though we know it can all change with one good draft pick. However, even if they stink, there's a pretty good chance the Bulls end up with pick #9 in 2016 and are unlikely to really hit the jackpot.
Summary of what's on the line
Matchups already set:
3 Indiana vs 6 Orlando
4 Boston vs 5 Atlanta home court TBD
With a win vs Cleveland or Spurs loss at Golden State, the Bulls would clinch homecourt against the Spurs and the #1 overall seed. (SAS and Chicago each already have clinched the #1 seed in their conferences)
With a Knicks win at Charlotte or a 76ers loss at Detroit the Knicks would clinch the 7th spot and Philly the 8th.
With an Atlanta vs Dallas win or Boston loss vs Milwaukee, the Hawks would clinch homecourt for round 1.
Matchups already set:
1 San Antonio vs 8 Utah
4/5 Grizzlies vs 4/5 Clippers home court TBD
With a win at Minnesota or Dallas loss at Atlanta, Denver clinches the 6 seed and would play the Lakers and the Mavs would play the Thunder as the 7th seed.
With a win vs Orlando, the Grizzlies would clinch home court vs the Clippers