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Bulls Win NBA Lottery, 2nd Pick to Heat

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Associated Press
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SECAUCUS, N.J., May 20 -- 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.

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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.

"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.

Chicago 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.

"We'll have an opportunity to get close to those guys. We'll really take a long look at what makes the most sense for our basketball team," executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said on a conference call. "Having the pick puts you in a unique position to make your team better."

The Miami Heat, which had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick thanks to its NBA-worst 15-67 record, fell to second. The Minnesota Timberwolves were third.

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.

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.

"Everybody was picking us to go to the conference finals last year, actually to the NBA Finals because we won 49 games the year before and pushed the Detroit Pistons to six games in the second round last year and we have a very exciting good corps of young players, and we added Joakim Noah to that mix," Schanwald said. "Now we will get a chance to add another great player, a really great player. So it is very exciting for us."


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