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All Quiet on Lottery Tuesday

May 20, 2014

Normally, I'd be checking in right now from New York City gearing up for another wishful night of hoping we land one of the top picks in the upcoming draft.

But instead, I write from the comforts of Washington D.C. and will be a mere spectator tonight as other NBA teams hope to land a top pick in what is being labeled one of the deepest drafts in years.

I much prefer it this way.

Other than moving into the lottery by trade, a team not present at the annual NBA Draft Lottery means that they were one of the 16 teams who qualified for the playoffs. The remaining 14 teams are then given a certain number of combinations that can land them the #1, #2, or #3 pick in the draft. The teams with the worse record have a higher chance of landing one of the top three spots and once the top three spots are selected, the remaining teams are ordered based on record.

Not since 2008 have the Wizards not been apart of this process, the last year they were in the playoffs.

But for the past five years, lottery night has been one Wizards fans have been watching with great interest and intrigue.


The Wizards finished with a 19-63 record and had the second greatest chance of landing the #1 pick. But, luck was not on their side this night, as they not only did not land the #1 pick, but would fall all the way down to #5 as they were passed by the Clippers (#1 Blake Griffin), Grizzlies (#2 Hasheem Thabeet), and Thunder (#3 James Harden).

The Wizards would then trade their #5 pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves right before the 2009 NBA Draft in exchange for Mike Miller and Randy Foye. The T'Wolves would go on to take Ricky Rubio with the #5 pick.


The Wizards finished with a 26-56 record and had the fifth greatest chance of landing the #1 pick (10.3 %). And sure enough, this would be their year. The ping pong balls fell right and they would wind up winning the lottery and the coveted #1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

The Wiz would go on to take John Wall with the #1 pick and as they say, the rest is history. Four years later, he's now an all-star, the face of the franchise, and growing into one of the elite point guards in the game.


The Wizards finished with a 23-59 record and had the fourth greatest chance of winning the lottery (11.9%). A year after winning the lottery, they once again were held out of the top three and slipped down to the #6 pick. The Clippers (traded to Cleveland) and New Jersey Nets (traded to Utah) would jump up into the top three, which ended up looking like this: 1. Cleveland - Kyrie Irving, 2. Minnesota - Derrick Williams, 3. Utah - Enes Kanter

The Wiz went on to snag Jan Vesely with the #6 pick, who after 2.5 seasons with the team was traded this past year to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Andre Miller.


In a lockout shortened season, the Wizards finished 20-46 and had the second greatest chance at winning the lottery (19.9%). However, it was the New Orleans Pelicans who would be the lucky winners this night and they would go on to take Anthony Davis with the #1 pick. Charlotte, who had the best chance at winning, wound up at #2 and took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

The Wizards would snag Bradley Beal with the # 3 pick, who now at just 20 years old is quickly turning into one of the premiere shooting guards in the NBA.


At 29-53, the Wizards had the eighth greatest chance of winning last year's lottery (3.5%), and while they did not win, they shot up to the #3 pick, where they would end up taking Otto Porter out of Georgetown. The Cavs, who had the third best chance of winning, won another lottery and wound up taking Anthony Bennett with the #1 pick. The Orlando Magic slid back to #2 and grabbed Victor Oladipo out of Indiana.

So, finally, Wizards fans can watch the lottery tonight in a relaxed state of mind. And as exciting as it was to think about landing the #1 pick, having turned that corner and being a playoff team was a whole lot better. Now we anticipate how to turn this team into a title contender.

The Wizards hold the #46 pick in the second round in the 2014 NBA Draft. They traded their first round pick (#18), along with Emeka Okafor, to Phoenix before the start of the year in exchange for Marcin Gortat.