Wednesday , May , 26 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

On the clock: Magic get first pick in NBA draft

Secaucus, NJ (Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic won the NBA Draft Lottery on
Wednesday night and will have the first pick for the June 24 draft.

The Magic, who were the NBA’s worst team during the regular season with a
21-61 mark, had a 25 percent chance of winning.

“These are our finals in Orlando,” said senior vice president Pat Williams.
“We don’t have trophy case in Orlando. We have a ping pong ball case.

“I think more than anything, this gives the franchise a lift and we needed a

The big winner of the lottery were the Los Angeles Clippers, who moved up from
the five spot to number two. Los Angeles was the fifth worst team in the
league this past season and had a 10.5 percent chance of winning the lottery.

“When you pick this high in the draft, you need to pick a very good player, an
asset, a guy who will be around for a long time.” said Clippers head coach
Mike Dunleavy.

The move bumped the Chicago Bulls from an expected two spot to the third pick,
while the third worst team last season, the Washington Wizards, moved down to
five. The Bulls had a 20 percent chance for the top spot, while Washington had
a 15.7 percent opportunity.

“Everybody wants the number one pick,” said Washington president of basketball
operations Ernie Grunfeld. “Traditionally one team always moved up and we only
fell one spot, because Charlotte automatically has the four spot. We’ll get
a good player at five.”

The fourth spot belongs to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, who weren’t
involved in the lottery.

After the Wizards everything else went as expected. Atlanta, Phoenix, Toronto,
Philadelphia and Cleveland round out the top 10. Golden State, Seattle,
Portland and Utah will select 11 through 14, respectively.

“The best good luck charm is to have more ping pong balls, said 76ers
president Billy King, who brought a horseshoe from Smarty Jones for good luck.
“But I’m happy to be at nine. My biggest fear was to be moving back.”

Portland and Utah were participating in the draft lottery for the first time
in its respective franchise histories.