The San Antonio Spurs are the exception, not the rule.

In 1997, they hit lottery gold.

With David Robinson sidelined and their record suffering, the Spurs landed the No. 1 pick and grabbed Tim Duncan. It was their only appearance in the draft lottery since the NBA went to a weighted system in 1990.

In most cases, the draft lottery isn’t a quick fix. It’s quicksand, grabbing an organization by the foot and slowly sucking it down.

So fans who think the Bulls should tank the season and get in the lottery for a stellar draft class in June should think again. It’s a good concept on paper that often leads to long suffering.

Of the 30 NBA teams, 20 have spent at least four consecutive seasons in the lottery since 1990. Thirteen have spent five or more years in the lottery. Once a team enters the lottery in back-to-back seasons, the average stay is about 4.2 years.

So, yes, Kentucky’s Julius Randle looks like a can’t-miss power forward. And, yes, Duke’s Jabari Parker would look great back in his hometown, playing alongside Derrick Rose for the 2014-15 season. And then there’s Kansas’ high-flying Andrew Wiggins, who could slide right into the Bulls’ small-forward vacancy after Luol Deng becomes a free agent.

Even general manager Gar Forman acknowledged that this upcoming draft could fall under the ‘‘special’’ label.

“There is a lot of talk about it, but you can never . . . people say good draft, bad draft, strong draft, deep draft, top-heavy, whatever,’’ Forman said. “Our feeling is that if you do your work, there’s always value in the draft, always opportunities there.’’

That’s what the Bulls have counted on recently, whether it was landing Taj Gibson with the 26th pick in the 2009 draft or Jimmy Butler with the 30th pick in 2011. Even rookie Tony Snell, who was the 20th pick last June, is paying dividends lately, starting for an injured Butler.

The Bulls’ mentality is they can land quality starters and rotation guys and not have to be in the lottery to do it.