SECAUCUS, N.J. - The Chicago Bulls expected to be in the playoffs, not the lottery.
This will ease the sting a little.
The Bulls won the NBA's draft lottery last 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.
"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.
Chicago will almost certainly choose between Beasley, the Kansas State forward who averaged 26.5 points and an NCAA-best 12.5 rebounds, and 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.
"I certainly understand this was pure luck. Now it's our job to make the most of it."
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 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.
6. New York
7. L.A. Clippers
10. New Jersey
14. Golden State
15. Phoenix (from Atlanta)
21. New Jersey (from Dallas)
24. Seattle (from Phoenix)
26. San Antonio
27. New Orleans
28. Memphis (from L.A. Lakers)
31. Minnesota (from Miami through Boston)
33/34. Portland (from Memphis)
33/34. Minnesota (may be conveyed to Detroit)
35/36. LA Clippers
35/36. Portland (from New York)
40. New Jersey
42. Sacramento (from Atlanta)
44. Utah (from Philadelphia)
45. San Antonio (from Toronto)
46. Seattle (from Portland through Boston)
48. Phoenix (from Cleveland)
49. Golden State
50. Seattle (from Denver)
52. Miami (from Orlando)
55. Portland (from Phoenix through Indiana)
56. Seattle (from New Orleans through Houston)
57. San Antonio
58. L.A. Lakers