The Washington Wizards had a poor year vs. the bookmaker odds this past NBA season but things are looking up for the Wizards as they will have the #1 selection in next month’s NBA Draft.
The Wizards are expected to take Kentucky’s John Wall and he would immediately make them a lot better vs. the Internet bookmaker odds.
The New Jersey Nets had the best chance of getting the top pick in the draft lottery but Washington had luck on their side. New Jersey has a new owner in Mikhail Prokhorov but the Nets slipped down to the #3 pick in the draft. "Sometimes luck makes all the difference, but it never comes down to one player," Prokhorov said. "I’m sure we’re going to get a great player. For our team, the only way is up."
The Internet bookmaker noted that the Wizards were the big winner as they moved up from #5 to the top spot. Washington was represented at the draft by Irene Pollin, who was the wife of long-time Washington owner Abe Pollin who died in November at the age of 85. "This is very, very special. I have been in this my entire adult life and to be here, representing my husband, this is very special to me tonight," Irene Pollin said. "I think it’s the culmination of my husband’s dream because he wanted another ring and maybe this will get us another ring." The Wizards had only about a 10 percent chance of getting the top pick but it all came together for the team. The Wizards need a lot of help considering they went 26-56 this past season.
The other team that got some luck on Tuesday night was the Philadelphia 76ers as they moved up from #6 to get the second pick in the draft. The Wizards will probably have new ownership next season as Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is set to buy the team from the Pollin family. "We have a lot of work to do with the franchise," Leonsis said.
The NBA Draft lottery is in place so that teams don’t tank the end of the regular season trying to get the top pick. In the last six years the team that finished with the worst record did not get the top pick. Next year’s NBA Draft will have Washington picking first followed by Philadelphia, New Jersey, Minnesota, Sacramento, Golden State, Detroit, the Clippers, Utah (from New York) and Indiana rounding out the top ten.