Lottery Magic for the Wizards

Team lands top pick in NBA Draft

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    John Wall

    Wearing her late husband Abe's 1978 NBA Championship ring, Washington Wizards majority owner Irene Pollin accepted the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft Tuesday night.

    "I know Mr. Pollin had his finger in this pie someplace," said minority and soon-to-be-majority owner Ted Leonsis, who knows a little something about No. 1 overall picks.  He took Alex Ovechkin No. 1 in 2004, and that turned out OK.

    Leonsis, Pollin React to Getting No. 1 Pick

    [DC] Leonsis, Pollin React to Getting No. 1 Pick
    The Wiz strike it rich in the NBA Draft Lottery. (Published Wednesday, May 19, 2010)

    For the Wizards, it was a surprising positive in a season full of disappointment. After beloved owner Abe Pollin, who was responsible for the team changing its name from Bullets in 1997, died in November, guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended by the league and charged in court for a dispute that led to the two bringing guns to the Verizon Center. That prompted the struggling team to trade stars Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler.

    The Wizards finished 26-56, fourth worst in the league. The odds were against them getting the No. 1 pick -- a 10.3 percent chance compared to the New Jersey Nets' 25 percent -- but New Jersey slid to No. 3 behind Washington and Philadelphia.

    So who could be the Wizards' Ovechkin?  Picking No. 1 overall in the NBA is trickier than in the NHL.  Exhibit A:  Kwame Brown.  Enough said.

    Kentucky freshman John Wall is considered by most to be the best player in the draft, though he plays the same position as Arenas -- point guard. But Arenas has tended to look for his shot first -- the Wizards might benefit by sliding him to the shooting guard slot and letting a true playmaker bring the ball up the court.

    Or maybe they'll ditch the devalued Arenas after all. They might be able to get a few shiny, new basketballs for him.

    Also a possible pick is Ohio State's Evan Turner, a do-it-all swingman who was the national player of the year.

    And maybe, just maybe, the Wizards will go for a player who would pair well with ... dare we say LeBron James?  Perhaps this draft lottery success could put the Wiz in the running for King James when the free agency period begins.  Hey, at least we can dream, right?

    Apparently Miss Cleo can too!  She sees LeBron hooking up with G-Wiz next season!