SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Chicago Bulls do not have a head coach but they won the N.B.A.’s draft lottery on Tuesday night, jumping from ninth to first.
The Bulls earned the right to take one of the two consensus top choices, point guard Derrick Rose of Memphis or power forward Michael Beasley of Kansas State. Chicago had just a 1.7 percent chance of winning the top pick.
The Miami Heat, which had the worst record in the league and the best chance of winning the lottery, landed the second pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves stayed put at No. 3, followed by the Seattle SuperSonics and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Knicks, with new coach Mike D’Antoni sitting on the dais, slipped from fifth to sixth in the draft order. The Charlotte Bobcats also slipped a spot, from eighth to ninth.
The rest of the order held to form, with the Los Angeles Clippers picking seventh, the Milwaukee Bucks picking eighth, the Bobcats ninth, the Nets 10th, the Indiana Pacers 11th, the Sacramento Kings 12th, the Portland Trail Blazers 13th and the Golden State Warriors 14th.
For the Knicks and their new management team, the lottery marked the start of a potentially dramatic overhaul.
“That’s what, to me, is exciting about today,” said Donnie Walsh, the team president. “It starts the next stage. Getting the coach was stage 1; stage 2 starts after we get our number tonight. And then we start getting into the league and finding out what’s what.”
The coach Walsh hired, D’Antoni, brings a tremendous record of success in Italy and Phoenix. But the Knicks have not posted a winning record in seven years and the roster, naturally, needs work.
Although securing one of the top two picks would surely speed the rebuilding process, D’Antoni said he was not placing too much emphasis on the draft.
“You can mess up; the 1 pick could be a bust,” he said. “These things are not a science. And the eighth pick could be the best pick. So you just take what you take and then it gets exciting — how you can use that, what you can turn it into, what it becomes, what you’re comfortable with. And that will be a process, I think, all summer. But we will have an asset to deal with, and that’s always good.”
In four-plus seasons with the Suns, D’Antoni never was part of a lottery, in person or otherwise.
Among Walsh’s primary goals is to get under the salary cap by 2010, and the pick could be useful in that pursuit. Walsh could package the player he drafts with a big contract — such as Zach Randolph’s — to help shed payroll.
“When we get this number, then we’ll explore all of the above,” Walsh said.