Two years ago, the Washington Wizards won the NBA Draft Lottery and selected John Wall with the No. 1 overall pick. The Wizards' streak of bad luck continued, sliding to the No. 3 pick in spite of having the league's second-worst record.
The New Orleans Hornets, who posted a record of 21-45 last season, moved up from fourth position, a 13.7 percent chance, to first position. In all likelihood, the Hornets will take Kentucky freshman forward Anthony Davis with the first overall pick when the NBA Draft occurs on June 28. The Charlotte Bobcats finished the year with a 7-59 record, and had the highest odds (25 percent) of winning the lottery, but they fell to the No. 2 pick, and the Wizards dropped to third.
Even though they won their final six games of the year, Washington (20-46) was slated for the second pick, with a 19.9 percent chance of winning the lottery. However, with the NBA Draft Lottery Show taking place at DisneyABC's Studios in New York, and the Wizards being represented by Zachary Leonsis, the son of team owner Ted Leonsis, the Washington franchise moved down for the 11th time since the lottery began in 1985.
Things could have been worse. The Wizards could have fallen as far down as fifth, but the Hornets were the only team outside the top three to move up. While dropping to No. 3 takes Washington out of the chase for Davis, who is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick, the Wizards are still in contention for top-tier players just below him.
That group includes Florida freshman guard Bradley Beal, Kansas forward Thomas Robinson (a native Washingtonian), Kentucky freshman small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Connecticut center Andre Drummond, and North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes. Over the next few weeks before the draft, all of these players could work out for the Wizards.
"We have been committed to our rebuilding plan and have seen the results of those efforts start to materialize with how our team is coming together," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement. "Adding a top pick in the draft will only help that process and we're very optimistic about the future of this team moving forward."
In addition to the No. 3 overall selection, the Wizards have their own second-round pick (32nd overall) and the Dallas Mavericks' second-round pick (46th overall).