SECAUCUS, N.J. - The Chicago 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.
They will almost certainly choose between the 6-10 Beasley, the Kansas State forward who averaged 26.5 points and an NCAA-best 12.5 rebounds, or Rose, the 6-3 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, which had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick thanks to its NBA-worst 15-67 record, fell to second, and 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 already have decided not to retain interim coach Jim Boylan.
The Bulls failed to land the coach they wanted, Mike D'Antoni, who took the Knicks' job, but the position might now become much more appealing.
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 in inverse order of teams' records.
Chicago had the No. 2 and 9 picks the last 2 years, both from New York as a result of the trade for Eddy Curry. Schanwald gave a fist pump when he realized he would move up, then took a deep breath and pumped both fists after beating out the Heat, which was 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.
2008 NBA DRAFT ORDER
Thursday, June 26, at 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. L.A. Clippers
35/36. Portland (from New York)
40. New Jersey
42. Sacramento (from Atlanta)
44. Utah (from 76ers)
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