Lottery favorite Hawks to pick 2nd, Blazers 3rd
SECAUCUS, N.J. After a season of injuries, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the odds and won the NBA lottery Tuesday night, creating exciting possibilities for next month's draft.
|ESPN.com Draft Coverage|
• Chad Ford's initial projection: Mock draft I
• Scouting reports on top prospects: DraftTracker
• What is your team looking for? Ford: All 30 teams' needs
• Lottery day buzz: Ford's blog
• Chicago camp ins and outs: Daily Word
• Full coverage: Draft index
The Bucks, who had only a 6.3 percent chance of winning the lottery, now have the options of dealing the No. 1 pick in the June 28 draft, using it to entice Michael Redd to re-sign or simply choosing a talented player like center Andrew Bogut, forward Marvin Williams or point guard Chris Paul.
"It certainly opens up opportunities with other teams that would like to get the first pick," Bucks general manager Larry Harris said. "I don't want to come out and say that the Milwaukee Bucks are trading the pick but it certainly creates a lot of buzz for the Milwaukee Bucks. We are in position now where we control the draft.
"I'm really nervous because I didn't expect to win."
That did not stop one prediction from coming true. Earlier in the day, on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza," a blindfolded Woody Paige (with an assist from Michael Smith) selected a Milwaukee Bucks ping-pong ball out of the studio's bin.
Unlike the native American Indian rock that Phil Jackson gave girlfriend Jeanie Buss to help the Lakers executive vice president in the lottery, Harris got plenty of luck from a fishing lure and a bracelet provided by Bucks' fans, which he held in his visibly shaking hands upon being interviewed by ESPN.
It helped Milwaukee jump over five teams to win its first lottery since 1994, the year they took Glenn Robinson.
"I don't know if I'll sleep tonight," Harris said. "Being a math major, with a 6.3 percent chance to win, I didn't think we had much of a chance at it."
Redd, an unrestricted free agent, has told Harris he wants to return, but only if the team is able to contend.
"I told him we would do whatever we can," Harris said. "Phase one is done. So now we have to make sure we make the right decision."
Atlanta, which won a league-low 13 games and had the best chance of securing the No. 1 pick, will instead have the second choice.
"Now we have a clear picture of where we're going and what we're going to do," Hawks general manager Billy Knight said. "We're comfortable with it. There is only one guess. They are only picking one name ahead of ours. They're going to do whatever they're going to do."
Portland made the other big move in the lottery, jumping from No. 5 to third.
"I was just coming in hoping we could hold our place because I liked what I felt would be available at No. 5," Portland general manager John Nash said. "Now that we are at three, we have improved our chance of getting a good player."
|Andy Katz's lottery picks|
1. Milwaukee -- Andrew Bogut (will strongly consider Marvin Williams)
2. Atlanta -- Marvin Williams (or Bogut)
3. Portland -- Gerald Green
4. New Orleans -- Chris Paul
5. Charlotte -- Deron Williams
6. Utah -- Raymond Felton
7. Toronto -- Fran Vazquez
8. New York -- Tiago Splitter
9. Golden State -- Channing Frye
10. L.A. Lakers -- Sean May
11. Orlando -- Martell Webster
12. L.A. Clippers -- Rashad McCants
13. Charlotte -- Hakim Warrick
14. Minnesota -- Martynas Andriuskevicius
The big losers were New Orleans, Charlotte and Utah, which all dropped two spots in the order. The Hornets had the second-best chance to win the lottery but they slipped to No. 4. The Bobcats, who also had the rights to Cleveland's pick in the lottery, went from No. 3 to No. 5. Utah, which had the fourth-worst record, fell to No. 6.
The lottery didn't change picks seventh through 14 with Toronto, New York, Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando, the Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte and Minnesota keeping those spots.
While there doesn't seem to be a Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan or LeBron James available in the draft, Bogut, Williams and Paul have been mentioned as the best players available. All three were among the list of 108 who filed as early entry candidates.
The lottery had its lighter moments.
Buss broke up the nationally televised show when asked about the good-luck rock that Jackson gave her.
"It wasn't the rock I was looking for," she quipped before the results were announced.
NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik also had some fun with Pat Williams, the Magic's senior vice president who is the king of the lottery. The Magic have won it three times since 1992 with Williams representing the team.
Orlando had less than a 1 percent chance of winning on Tuesday , with only seven of the potential 1,000 winning combinations.
When the Magic failed to move up, Granik was ready.
"Not this year," he said.