Chicago Bulls Win No. 1 Pick in NBA Draft Lottery
Posted May 20 2008 9:19PM
SECAUCUS, N.J., May 20 (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls won the NBA's draft lottery Tuesday night, giving them the right to choose between star freshmen Michael Beasley and Derrick Rose.
Coming off a miserable season and still without a coach, the Bulls vaulted from the No. 9 spot, where they had just a 1.7 percent chance of landing the top choice.
They will almost certainly choose between Beasley, the Kansas State forward who averaged 26.5 points and an NCAA-best 12.5 rebounds, or Rose, the point guard who carried Memphis within minutes of the national title.
"After this season, we needed a break and I think we just got one tonight,'' said Steve Schanwald, the Bulls' executive vice president of business operations who represented them on the podium.
The Miami Heat, who had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick thanks to their NBA-worst 15-67 record, fell to second. The Minnesota Timberwolves will go third.
The NBA draft will be held June 26 in New York.
Chicago came into the season with high expectations after reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. But the Bulls never recovered from a dismal start and finished 33-49. They fired coach Scott Skiles on Christmas Eve and have already decided not to retain interim coach Jim Boylan.
The Bulls failed to land the coach they wanted, Mike D'Antoni, but the position became much more appealing Tuesday. They could turn to hometown star Rose, who D'Antoni said was like Jason Kidd with a jump shot.
The Seattle SuperSonics, who moved up to No. 2 last year to pick Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant, fell from second to fourth. Memphis will pick fifth, followed by New York, the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee, Charlotte and New Jersey.
Indiana has the 11th pick, followed by Sacramento, Portland and Golden State. The lottery settled the top three spots. The remainder of the first 14 picks are determined inverse order of their record.
Chicago got the No. 2 and 9 picks the last two years from New York as a result of the trade for Eddy Curry. Schanwald gave a fist pump early on when he realized he would move up, then took a deep breath and pumped both fists after beating out the Heat, represented by All-Star guard Dwyane Wade.
Only twice have teams with the worst record won the lottery since the current format began in 1994.
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