Recent lottery history shows eight is enough for No.1

Recent lottery history shows eight is enough for No.1
May 20, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Based on having only the eighth-best odds, it's not likely that the Wizards will land the No. 1 overall pick when the lottery order is revealed on Tuesday night.

Recent history also shows us that not likely is not the same as impossible.

In 2011, the Clippers were also eighth on the odds list and that slot ended up with the top selection (That year Los Angeles had a 2.8 percent chance while this time Washington comes in at 3.5 percent).  Bummer for the Clippers that the Cavaliers actually owned their pick, one Cleveland used to draft Kyrie Irving.

Of course, the Wizards know something about moving all the way up, having jumped four teams to pick first - and ultimately John Wall - in 2010. They also know the other side of the equation; that was the only time in four straight lottery appearances Washington's position improved - or didn't get any worse.

2009: 2nd best odds, finished 5th - After all the Stephen Curry talk dominating the early stages of the NBA playoffs, I'm confident we don't need to remind everyone about "the trade." It's worth noting the No. 2 selection that year was Hasheem Thabeet. In other words, it could have been worse, I think.

2010: 5th/1st - Lady Luck hooked the Wizards up with the selection that became Wall. Can only imagine what would have happened had Washington stayed at five, ended up with DeMarcus Cousins and he joined Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Nick Young. On second thought, let's not do that kind of dreaming. Besides, former Georgetown center Greg Monroe would have been the call, right?

2011: 4th/6th - Not moving up or staying put meant no Derrick Williams or Enes Kanter, but rather Jan Vesely. Klay Thompson went five picks later, Kawhi Leonard eight back. Let's move on.

2012: 2nd/3rd - No need to hang on to the receipt for Bradley Beal. He's a keeper.

The Wizards can move up without getting the first pick. Washington has a 4.1 percent chance of drafting second, 4.8 percent chance of landing the third pick. It likely will take a rise in order to grab Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. or Kentucky center Nerlens Noel. There is also a chance teams could jump ahead of the Wizards, though they cannot drop any lower than 11. Best bet with odds of 70.2 percent is Washington stays with the eighth pick where players like Maryland's Alex Len or Lehigh's C.J. McCollum are expected to come into play. The lottery show starts at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN before Game 2 of the Spurs-Grizzlies series.

If the Wizards make a successful pick, there is a good chance there will be any need to discuss their lottery history next year. Before five straight lottery appearances, Washington made the playoffs four straight times. Perhaps history can repeat itself there as well. For now, the focus is just on some winning ping-pong balls.