The Chicago Bulls selected Marquis Teague with the 29th pick in the draft on Thursday, giving them a point guard who might end up filling in at times for injured superstar Derrick Rose.
Teague, whose older brother Jeff plays for Atlanta, was the fourth Wildcats player drafted, after Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went to New Orleans and Charlotte at No. 1 and No. 2 and Houston took Terrence Jones at No. 18.
Teague averaged 10.0 points and 4.8 assists while helping Kentucky win a national championship in his lone season. He struggled at times with turnovers in the early going but improved as the year went on.
The Bulls have had good luck with guards who played for John Calipari. Rose, who is recovering from major knee surgery and isn't expected back until early next year, played for him at Memphis.
They have also done well with late first-round picks in recent years, with Taj Gibson (No. 26 in 2009) becoming a key part of the rotation and Jimmy Butler showing promise last season after being taken with the 30th pick.
Teague joins a team that appears to be in a holding pattern at the moment, waiting for Rose to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. It's an awkward spot, particularly considering the Bulls captured the No. 1 overall playoff seed the past two years.
They were widely viewed as the top threat in the Eastern Conference to LeBron James and the Miami Heat until Rose crumbled to the court, clutching his knee late in the Bulls' playoff-opening win over Philadelphia. They suffered another big hit when they lost Joakim Noah to a sprained left ankle in Game 3.
Without its franchise player and top rebounder, Chicago couldn't get past the 76ers after losing to Miami in the conference finals the previous year.
Rose could return some time around mid-January or February if he doesn't miss the entire season, but how soon he regains his explosiveness is another issue. That likely won't happen until 2013-14, assuming he returns to form.
Luol Deng also is a bit of a question mark, at least for early next season. He played a significant portion of the season with a torn ligament in his left wrist and plans to represent Great Britain in the Olympics. If he has surgery afterward, that could put him on the shelf for the start of the season.
Complicating matters is that the Bulls have no salary-cap space, and if they retain restricted free agent Omer Asik, as they have indicated they intend to do, they could be in luxury-tax territory. That means the bench will likely take a hit, with the team holding contract options on Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson.
Chicago did not have a second-round pick.
TheScore.com earlier this month predicted that Teague would head to Chicago.