NBA Draft Lottery | Bulls defy the odds, land the top spot
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver congratulates Bulls EVP-Business Operations Steve Schanwald on receiving the No. 1 pick in the draft.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)
By Adam Fluck
May 20, 2008 – As a result of the 2008 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, the Bulls claimed the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Chicago beat incredible odds to do it, having held only a 1.7 percent chance of claiming the top spot in this summer's NBA Draft, to be held on June 26 in New York City.
The 24th annual edition of the NBA Draft Lottery determined the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2008 NBA Draft. EVP-Business Operations Steve Schanwald represented Chicago at the Lottery, held at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
As was the case last year with Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, there is a strong consensus that Kansas State forward Michael Beasley and Memphis point guard Derrick Rose are the head of the draft class.
"Those two names are the guys who are at the top right now," Bulls EVP-Basketball Operations John Paxson said on a conference call Tuesday night. "I've learned in watching other people prepare you have to go about your business. We'll have an opportunity to get those guys in as well as others. We'll get to know them, and take a long look at what makes the most sense for our basketball team.”
The Miami Heat, who finished the season with the NBA's worst record (15-67), had 250 combinations and will select second. The Minnesota Timberwolves will pick third, while the Seattle Sonics dropped to the fourth spot.
The Golden State Warriors, the best team in the lottery at 48-34, had five combinations out of 1,000 and will have the rights to the 14th pick.
As a result of their overall record (33-49), the Bulls received the ninth spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery and there was a greater than 80 percent chance they’d stay there. The Bulls had only 17 of the 1,000 ping-pong ball combinations in the Lottery, but apparently that was enough.
"Having the pick puts you in a unique position to make your team better,” Paxson added. "I certainly understand this was pure luck. Now it's our job to make the most of it."
Besides the top selection, Chicago also owns the rights to the 39th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, to be held on Thursday, June 26, at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“I’m happy for our fans because they’ve been very patient for the last 10 years, supporting us in a way that has been almost beyond belief, through thick and thin," said Schanwald. "It’s been 10 years since our last championship and they continue to consistently fill the building. They really deserve this, and hopefully it goes well for our future.”