By Dan Bernstein– senior columnist

(CBS) The news juxtaposed nicely with the release of the 2017-’18 NBA schedule on Monday, seeing that the league was kind enough to the eyes of basketball fans to keep the Bulls off national television screens with the exception of just one game. We should be reminded of a tanking team expected to win fewer than 30 games as it chases draft position in the latest effort to escape mediocrity.

That Bulls plan got a boost from the decision by Marvin Bagley III to accelerate his graduation from high school to hasten his ascent to college and the pros, reclassifying into the 2017 class to play this year for Duke. It would be for just the one season, presumably, allowing him to take his place at or close to the top of a 2018 draft that already includes potential stars like Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., Texas center Mohamed Bamba, Slovenian swingman Luka Doncic and Arizona center DeAndre Ayton.

The Bulls’ odds of being in that group are strong — that’s the whole point of the exercise right now, in fact — and anything that sweetens the pot can be seen as getting them closer to winning. It sure beats having to see them play this season, which our already troubled enough country will mostly not.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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