Bulls select Derrick Rose with 2008 NBA Draft's top pick
Bulls take Rose at No. 1Chicago selects hometown point guard Derrick Rose with the 2008 NBA Draft’s top pick
First overall pick Derrick Rose will throw out the first pitch at Friday afternoon's Chicago White Sox/Chicago Cubs game at U.S. Cellular Field.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)
By Adam Fluck
Updated 11:23 p.m. CT | June 26, 2008
With the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected Derrick Rose, a 6-3, 190-pound point guard out of the University of Memphis.
Rose posted averages of 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game as a freshman and led Memphis to the NCAA National Championship game. He appeared in all 40 games for the Tigers, who went 38-2 and set an NCAA men’s basketball record for wins in a season.
“In this league, point guards are really hard to find," Bulls EVP of Basketball Operations John Paxson said after making the pick. "He’s got a strength about him that most guards don’t have in this league at that position.
He’s got a great burst and he’s very fast with the ball. I think he’s going to make other players better, and I think he’ll give us some leadership abilities as he goes on that we really need. For us, it was the right pick.”
Rose visited the Bulls for a private workout on June 19—two days after Michael Beasley was in town—and wasn’t shy about his desire to play for his hometown team.
“I think back to all the times people have told me I was good enough to play for the Bulls, and now it could come true,” Rose told Bulls.com last week. “I’d love to play here. I know the whole city would be behind me and it’s such a great sports city. The Bulls have a lot of talent and they’re young, too. I think if I’m lucky enough to come to this team, we’ll do some damage.”
Rose attended Simeon Career Academy High School in Chicago, where he helped the school become the first Chicago Public League team to win back-to-back state titles in Illinois prep history. His teams went 120-12 (.909) during his four years at Simeon.
A rare combination of speed, elite athleticism and poise at the point guard position, Rose emerged as a candidate to be the NBA Draft’s top pick during a remarkable postseason run, in which he averaged 20.8 points, 6.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game.
“I’m just an extremely competitive person,” said Rose, a member of the 2008 NCAA Tournament All-Final Four Team. “Everyone was saying I was too young or that another player was going to get the best of me because they were older, but age doesn’t always matter. It’s about being the better player. I just wanted to prove people wrong and show that I was the best player on the court.”
Rose is the second No. 1 overall pick in franchise history (Elton Brand, 1999) and he is just the third guard to be selected No. 1 overall in the NBA in the last 30 drafts (Magic Johnson, 1979; Allen Iverson, 1996).
The Bulls also acquired the draft rights to center Omer Asik, the 36th selection in NBA Draft 2008, in a three-team deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets.
The 7-0, 255-pound Asik is a 20-year-old native of Bursa, Turkey. A two-time Turkish League All-Star (2007, 2008), Asik split 30 games last year with Alpella and Fenerbahce, where he averaged 10.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, a league-high 1.90 bpg and 1.90 spg. In 2007-08 Euroleague action, he set a league record for blocked shots in a game with 19 rejections.
Chicago will hold an 11:00 a.m. press conference at the United Center on Monday to introduce Rose.